DHS chief says travel restrictions on Europe, China 'more important now than ever'

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Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Saturday that restrictions on people coming here from other countries are even more vital today as the U.S. economy opens up amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"I would say that those travel restrictions are more important now than they ever have been. So we need to be smart about that," he said on "Cavuto Live."

Wolf said DHS is continually assessing the travel restrictions and their impact.

"The other issue is what do we do about Chinese passengers, Chinese students, and others coming into the U.S., as well as other foreign nationals from hot spot locations, and so we continue to assess that and continue to look at that," he said.

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"But ... I think the travel restrictions that we have now, particularly from China and parts of Europe, need to stay in place as we get the economy back up and running and back open," he added.

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As more Americans plan trips and the number of bookings rise, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which is part of DHS, has issued new guidelines for summer travel. The recommendations include advising airline passengers to keep their boarding passes rather than hand them off to a TSA officer to reduce the risk of spreading the virus..

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The agency also urges passengers to practice social distancing and continue wearing masks.

"Travelers are encouraged to wear face protection to the checkpoint as well. Please note, however, passengers may need to adjust it during the screening process," TSA said in a press release.

"Travelers are also encouraged to remove items such as belts, and items from their pockets, like wallets, keys and phones, and put them directly into their carry-on bags instead of into the bins to reduce touch-points during the screening process."