Airline and cruise line Alaskan Airlines has been barred from flying in Alaska because of an infection linked to a coronavirus outbreak that has been spreading through the state.
Alaskans who have been infected with COVID-19, or Coxsackie virus, have been ordered to take steps to stop returning to the mainland.
The airline said in a statement it was “deeply saddened” by the decision.
Alres Kastigar, an Alaskanian who travelled to Alaska on Tuesday and Wednesday to check on his family and visit relatives in the state, said the decision made him feel sick.
“I don’t know why they have to take away the privilege of having the best of the best in their cabin,” he told AFP news agency.
“I feel that they are taking away the opportunity to be in touch with my family, friends and loved ones.”
Alaska Airlines said the virus had been detected on its radar and “was being actively monitored and monitored for possible impact on the flight plan”.
The company has also temporarily suspended flights to the state and said it was continuing to monitor the situation.
“We are taking this extremely seriously,” said a spokeswoman.
“The safety and well-being of our passengers and crew is our top priority.”
Alaskan authorities said on Thursday that more than 4,000 people had been confirmed infected with the coronaviral virus and more than 3,000 others were suspected.
Some are believed to have travelled to the US from the Pacific Ocean.