U.S. Suspends All Travel from Europe to U.S. for Non-Citizens

All travel from Europe to the U.S. is being suspended for 30 days, President Trump announced late March 11, 2020, “to keep new [COVID-19] cases from entering our shores.”

During an Oval Office address, Trump said the new rules will go into effect on Friday at 11:59 pm. The restrictions won’t apply to the United Kingdom nor to legal permanent residents and immediate family members of U.S. citizens.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the policy “suspends the entry of foreign nationals who have been in certain European countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival in the U.S.”

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.

“In January and February, the Administration issued similar travel restrictions on individuals who had been in China and Iran,” Chad Wolf, DHS acting Secretary, said in a statement. “I intend to issue a supplemental Notice of Arrivals Restrictions requiring U.S. passengers that have been working in the Schengen Area to travel through select airports where the U.S. government has implemented enhanced screening procedures.”

The State Department took the drastic step March 11, 2020 of issuing a global Level 3 travel advisory, advising U.S. citizens to reconsider all travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19. 

“Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions,” the advisory said. “Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.”

The World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. There are 118,000 cases globally and more than 4,000 deaths, the agency said.

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