THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
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Yesterday evening, Donald Trump announced a Presidential Proclamation suspending travel from 26 European countries to the United States for 30 days in a bid to prevent further spread of the Coronavirus, COVID-19.
In his speech from the Oval Office, which was broadcast to the nation, President Trump said, "To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight. These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground," before going on to explain that, "These restrictions will also not apply to the United Kingdom."
The White House later clarified that "The restriction applies to foreign nationals who have been in the Schengen Area, 26 countries in Europe with open borders agreements, in the last 14 days" and that the ban will not affect American Citizens, explaining that "Those who are exempt from these restrictions, such as American citizens, will be directed to a limited number of airports where screening can take place." The 26 Schengen Area countries listed in the Proclamation are: "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 a correction to President Trump's speech, the White House also confirmed that the ban "only applies to the movement of human beings, not goods or cargo."
The decision comes as the State Department also issued a Level 3 Global Health Advisory, suggest US Citizens "Reconsider Travel" abroad. The Advisory says "The Department of State advises US citizens to reconsider 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. Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice."
The suspension of travel does not currently apply to the United Kingdom, and does not apply to American Citizens, although the changes are likely to cause changes in travel arrangements. This is a fast moving situation, so the best advice is to contact your airline if you have flights booked from any of the affected nations.
If you have any questions or are uncertain of how the changes affect you, the State Department also has a regularly updated section their website on COVID-19 and travel implications at https://travel.state.gov
If you are an American citizen planning to return to the United States, Click Here for information from the Department for Homeland Security on which airport hubs you may fly to and the procedures to expect on arrival.
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