Coronavirus hinders Utah teen’s education in China

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The education of a Utah teenager studying abroad in China, has been put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Kate De Groot has been in Beijing, China pursuing intensive Chinese language classes ever since August.

“As of right now my spring semester is delayed indefinitely,” she told ABC4 during a phone interview while sitting in the airport on Monday.

De Groot said going through airport security from Beijing to Salt Lake International took longer than usual, but the process wasn’t overwhelming.

“There was a couple forms we had to fill out about whether or not we’ve been to Hubei Province, which is where the disease originated, in the past 14 days, and there’s also a couple temperature checks we had to go through before we could get on the plane.”

A presidential proclamation has been put into place that suspends entry of foreign nationals who have visited China within the past 14 days into the United States. There are some exemptions, including, for immediate family members of U.S. Citizens and legal permanent residents. According to the Centers for Disease Control, those people will be allowed entry into the U.S.

De Groot said the travel ban was already in place for her flight.

“The only people allowed on the flight were — because the U.S. banned entry to foreign nationals who aren’t permanent residents. So all of us were either U.S. permanent residents or U.S. citizens.”

The 18-year-old student also said only 20 people were allowed to deplane at a time, and then passengers were interviewed individually by members of the CDC at the airport.

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