Posted on : Monday May 4, 2009

By International Mission Board staff

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)—The International Mission Board is suspending non-emergency travel by its personnel to Mexico in response to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to guard against the spread of the swine (H1N1) flu. The CDC is recommending U.S. travelers avoid all non-essential travel to Mexico.

In addition, IMB personnel must obtain prior approval from their area leadership in consultation with the IMB’s Medical Department in order to travel from Mexico to the United States. If travel is approved, personnel must be self-quarantined in the United States for several days and remain symptom free before engaging in further activity. Missionaries to Mexico already on stateside assignment will remain in the United States until further notice.

Currently, there are no plans to temporarily relocate IMB missionaries living in Mexico. According to the Associated Press, Mexico is urging its residents to avoid traveling from their homes except for essential needs. U.S. churches with imminent mission trips to Mexico are encouraged to consider the CDC recommendations to delay their travel plans.

On April 29, the World Health Organization raised its Pandemic Alert to Phase 5, the second-highest level.