• Joe Breitfeller

U.S. Bans Inbound Travel From European Schengen Area Countries For 30 Days

In a televised speech Wednesday evening, U.S. President Donald Trump announced a ban on inbound travel from European Schengen Area countries for the next 30 days. U.S. nationals and legal residents, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland are excluded.

U.S. Bans Travel From Schengen Countries - Photo Credit: Daniel Schludi/Unsplash

With the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic and U.S. experiencing more than 1,300 cases, U.S. President Donald Trump expanded travel restrictions in a televised speech Wednesday evening. From midnight on Friday, March 13, 2020, all inbound travel from European Schengen Area countries will be banned for 30 days. The United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland are not part of the Schengen Area. U.S. citizens and legal residents who have traveled to any of the Schengen Area countries in the last 14 days must enter the U.S. through an approved airport. Foreign nationals who have traveled to one of the Schengen Area countries in the last 14 days will be denied entry into the U.S. The new travel restrictions are in addition to previously announced bans from mainland China and Iran.

Approved Entry Airports - Courtesy American Airlines

The 26 European Schengen Area countries include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland (The United Kingdom and Ireland are not part of the Schengen Area). Commenting on President Trump's newly announced travel ban, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA union's President, Sara Nelson, said in part,

"The announcement by the President this evening of a thirty-day travel ban to Europe is irresponsible. Without any consultation with the industry, we don't even know what this means. President Trump said one thing during his TV address and the administration appears to be walking back several key statements. This only creates more confusion and proves this is about politics, not public safety. There is no explanation for how this will help fight the spread of the virus. It makes little sense when the virus is already in the United States. The President expressly stated the United Kingdom is not included in the travel ban and yet the U.K. Health Minister herself has the coronavirus.”

Also commenting on Wednesday evening’s announcement, a statement from Airlines for America’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Nicholas E. Calio said,

“We commend President Trump for continuing to take decisive action to protect the health and well-being of the American people. For U.S. airlines, the safety of our passengers, crew and cargo is – and always will be – our top priority. The unforeseen outbreak of the coronavirus has directly impacted the U.S. airline industry, which is critical to the U.S. and global economies. This action will hit U.S. airlines, their employees, travelers and the shipping public extremely hard. However, we respect the need to take this unprecedented action and appreciate the Administration’s commitment to facilitate travel and trade. We will continue to work hand-in-hand with the White House and relevant federal agencies as they work to contain this virus and mitigate its impact on the United States and countries around the world.”

Source(s): American Airlines, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, Airlines for America