What Trump’s European Travel Ban Means For Passengers

Yesterday the world was taken by surprise when US President Trump announced a travel ban between the EU’s Schengen travel area and the United States. The announcement came the same day that the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a pandemic.

US, Travel Ban, Donald Trump
The United States will enact a travel ban on many travelers who have visited the Schengen zone in the past 14 days. Photo: Getty Images

Clearly yesterday’s travel ban will have huge consequences for global connectivity, however, how will it actually affect travelers? Simple Flying decided it would be a good idea to add some clarity to the situation.

Note: the situation is likely to rapidly evolve as carriers work out exactly how to deal with the situation. While this article intends to be as accurate as possible, passengers should still consult directly with their carrier.

Who is affected?

The new Europe to the United States travel ban will come into effect at midnight on Friday, 13th of March, and will initially last for 30 days. Essentially, it will ban any person from entering the United States if they have been in one of the 26 Schengen countries in the past 14 days. However, the ban does not affect passengers landing in the US before 23:59 Eastern Daylight Time on the 13th of March.

According to Trump’s Presidential Proclamation on the matter, the reason for this ban is:

“The United States Government is unable to effectively evaluate and monitor all of the travelers continuing to arrive from the Schengen Area. The potential for undetected transmission of the virus by infected individuals seeking to enter the United States from the Schengen Area threatens the security of our transportation system and infrastructure and the national security.”

British Airways, Italy cancelations, coronavirus
The United Kingdom is unaffected by the travel ban. Photo: Getty Images

What about US Citizens?

The ban on travel to the United States has a long list of exceptions that are unlikely to apply to most travelers. However, the big exception to the ban is for United States citizens and lawful permanent residents. These two groups will continue to be admitted to the US, however, travel may be harder. A full list of exceptions to the ban can be found on the White House website.

How to travel from Europe to the US

While the action is still in the planning stages in response to Trump’s announcement, it is almost certain that European carriers will suspend flights to the US, as only US citizens would be able to enter the country.

However, there is one notable exception to Donald Trump’s travel ban. The United Kingdom. As it is not a part of the Schengen zone, the UK is not subject to the sweeping travel restrictions. This won’t help any non-US citizen that has visited a Schengen country in the past 14 days.

Lufthansa, Tel Aviv, Flight Cancelations
Lufthansa will likely have to cancel even more flights as a result of the travel ban. Photo: Getty Images

Any individuals eligible to travel to the United States who have entered the Schengen area within the past 14 days will have additional restrictions. They will need to enter the United States through a designated point of entry. Airlines are obliged to rebook these travelers via a designated airport for no charge.

Simple Flying will continue to publish further stories with any major developments to the situation.

Will you be affected by the US travel ban? Let us know how in the comments.