**UPDATE: 03/12/20 @ 02:12 UTC – The White House has said that people coming from the Schengen Area are not allowed to enter the country. Details below**
Donald Trump announced on national television that the United States is closing its borders with Europe for the next 30 days due to the coronavirus outbreak. This will come into effect on Friday 13 March at midnight.
All Europe is affected, except for the UK
The US president 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,”. He added that every country in the Schengen area is affected by this ban, meaning the UK and a few other European nations could be spared.
For now, it seems that the UK is off the hook, even though there are 460 cases of coronavirus confirmed, with numbers rising every day. Currently, the United States has 1,135 confirmed cases of the virus across the country, with 38 deaths.
So, how many flights will be affected? Several thousand flights a day, for certain. FlightRadar counted 200 flights between the United States and non-UK airports in Europe when Donald Trump broke the news.
Donald Trump said this action was due to the inaction of European authorities. Delta Air Lines stocks fell 4.66% today; American Airlines fell 6.04%; Jetblue (which last week went up 10%) went up 1.55%. Oil prices fell more than 5%.
American Airlines said in a statement,
“We are in contact with the federal government to understand and comply with this directive. The health and safety of our customers and team members remains our highest priority.”
The White House published that the Proclamation 9984, first issued on January 31, now also comprises 26 European states: 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.
Proclamation 9984 was originally issued banning all but US citizens from entering the United States if they’d been in China during the 14 days prior to their entry.
As of 11 March 2020, the total number of cases in the 26 countries is 17,442, with 711 deaths, according to the White House. The most affected is Italy. The European Union hasn’t published a statement, yet.
The Proclamation doesn’t affect US citizens
Firstly, the Proclamation doesn’t affect US citizens, the same way it didn’t affect them when coming from China. They can still enter into American territory.
In this regard, Trump added,
“Given the importance of protecting persons within the United States from the threat of this harmful communicable disease, I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.”
Still, this is surely just the beginning of a whole new chapter in this coronavirus crisis worldwide. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.