Coronavirus travel ban: Which European countries are affected by Trump’s new restrictions?

The travel ban from Europe to the US will begin on Friday

Thursday 12 March 2020 10:54 GMT
Coronavirus: Trump suspends Europe-US travel

President Donald Trump made an unprecedented move on Wednesday night – suspending travel between the United States and Europe for 30 days in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In his televised address, Mr Trump blamed the European Union for failing to quickly shut down the pandemic which he said came to the US in clusters “seeded” by European travellers.

Mr Trump said “we are marshalling the full power” of the government to protect the American people.

Moments after Mr Trump made his sweeping statement the Department of Homeland Security sent out a release clarifying his remarks

Here’s what we know so far:

Who does the ban apply to?

The ban applies to foreign nationals travelling from the prohibited area unless they are considered exempt. After Trump’s Oval Office address the DHS clarified the ruling didn’t apply to “legal permanent residents, (generally) immediate family members of US citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation”.

The proclamation lists as exempt: spouses of US citizens or permanent residents, parents of US citizens or permanent residents under the age of 21, unmarried siblings of US citizens or permanent residents under the age of 21 and any children, foster children or ward of a US citizen or permanent resident or a prospective adoptee. Members of the armed forces, their spouses and children are also excluded.

It also excludes anyone travelling to the US on certain specialised visas aka crewmembers, foreign government officials, NATO and UN visas.

The proclamation also adds that the Secretary of Health can sanction someone’s entry if they do not pose significant risk and the Attorney General can waive the restriction if the foreign national’s entry would benefit law enforcement​.

The rule will, for example, apply to European nationals working in the US – who would effectively be barred from returning to the US after visiting Europe.

Presumably such workers who are currently in Europe and intending to travel back to the US would also be banned.

Which countries in Europe does the ban cover?

The ban will not apply to the UK or Ireland, but it will apply to all 26 countries in Europe that have abolished passport controls, known as the Schengen Area.

It includes 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 US citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation.

How long will the ban last for?

The ban will be in effect from Friday, March 13 from 11.59pm eastern daylight time. It will last for 30 days and then be reassessed.

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