United States Bans Arrivals From Europe For 30 Days

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United States will suspend travel from Schengen Countries to the United States for 30 days, starting from Friday.

Arrivals from the United Kingdom and Ireland are not affected by this ban for now. It is unclear if this applies to nationals of these countries or all visitors from Europe.

Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times (access their piece here):

President Trump on Wednesday night announced he was taking “strong but necessary” actions to keep new cases of the coronavirus from entering the United States by suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days, beginning on Friday. The restrictions did not apply to Britain, he said.

UPDATE: Here’s a statement from DHS

Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf’s Statement on Presidential Proclamation To Protect the Homeland from Travel-Related Coronavirus Spread

Release Date: March 11, 2020

(WASHINGTON) Today President Donald J. Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation, which suspends the entry of most foreign nationals who have been in certain European countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the United States. These countries, known as the Schengen Area, include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. This does not apply to legal permanent residents, (generally) immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation.

Statement from DHS Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf:

“Protecting the American people from threats to their safety is the most important job of the President of the United States. The actions President Trump is taking to deny entry to foreign nationals who have been in affected areas will keep Americans safe and save American lives. I applaud the president for making this tough but necessary decision. While these new travel restrictions will be disruptive to some travelers, this decisive action is needed to protect the American public from further exposure to the potentially deadly coronavirus.

“In January and February, the Administration issued similar travel restrictions on individuals who had been in China and Iran. That action proved to be effective in slowing the spread of the virus to the U.S., while public health officials prepared. In the next 48 hours, in the interest of public health, I intend to issue a supplemental Notice of Arrivals Restriction requiring U.S. passengers that have been in the Schengen Area to travel through select airports where the U.S. Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures.”

Conclusion

It seems that the messaging coming out from the White House has drastically changed over the past week. COVID-19 was supposedly just a “flu.”

The coronavirus has already spread in the United States, and I doubt that this arrivals ban is going to make much of a difference. Most of the travel has come to a close to complete halt, and airlines have already significantly adjusted their schedules.

I guess that US citizens in Europe can travel back to North America via the UK and other gateways outside of the Schengen countries.

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