(CBSDFW.COM) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has taken notice of lines with reportedly hours-long wait times at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Saturday evening for arriving international travelers.
Those long lines could be seen throughout social media as many travelers were left wondering about why they had to wait so long.
DFW Airport responded to those travelers and media inquiries by saying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection were performing “enhanced screening” measures that were “federally mandated” by the Department of Homeland Security in order to contain the potential spread of coronavirus.
“DFW Airport is one of 13 U.S. airports identified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to screen American citizens, legal permanent residents and their immediate families who are returning home from European and other regions,” the airport said in a statement.
The airport also said it was increasing staffing to help lessen wait times.
Pictures and videos of those lines caught the attention of many across social media, including Gov. Abbott.
On Sunday, the governor tweeted: “This is unacceptable & I’m working to get it fixed. I have spoken to the official in charge of this–the head of Homeland Security. They are working 24-7 to add personnel and make other changes to fix this ASAP”
One traveler said he waited at least three hours Saturday evening.
— Ezequiel Contreras (@zzekecontre) March 14, 2020
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump announced a 30-day ban on travel from European countries in an attempt to contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as it continues to raise concerns. The travel restriction applies to most non-Americans who’ve been in the 26-nation Schengen area of Europe withing 14 days of traveling to the U.S. This began Saturday.
However, the president said Saturday that the ban would extend to the United Kingdom and Ireland. This extension will begin Monday at midnight.
For more on our coverage of coronavirus in North Texas, click here.