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Last night, in response to the ongoing coronavirus situation, President Trump announced the introduction of travel restrictions into the United States for “foreign nationals who have been in the Schengen Area, 26 countries in Europe with open borders agreements, in the last 14 days”. The practical effect of the announcement is that (with a very small number of exceptions) flights between mainland Europe and America will cease on Friday (13th March 2020).
The Schengen Area countries 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.
The full White House statement is as follows:
“President Trump is issuing a proclamation under section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to restrict travel to the United States from foreign nationals who have recently been in certain European countries.
- Section 212(f) of the INA only applies to the movement of human beings, not goods or cargo.
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.
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.
There is extensive travel back and forth between Europe that heightens the risk here in the United States.”
This a dramatic escalation in the US response to coronavirus. To be clear though, for the time being at least, flights between the UK/Ireland and the USA are unaffected.