President Trump Announces Ban On Flights From Europe, Entry By Non-Residents Who Have Been To Europe

President Trump, speaking from the Oval Office, announced that the U.S. would suspend travel from Europe for 30 days effective Friday. Right now there are more questions about that than answers, since all that has actually been released on paper is a ban on non-U.S. residents entering the country who have been in Schengen Area countries within the last 14 days.

It’s not clear what the details of a broader ban will actually mean yet. Presumably the two policies will work in tandem, making it harder for Europeans to enter the U.S. while also requiring U.S. citizens currently in Europe to connect through the U.K., non-Schengen European countries, Canada or elsewhere on the way home.

At this point I wouldn’t discount the possibility that the President’s announcement to ban flights from Europe is inaccurate, and the actual policy adopted was to limit entry by people that have been to Europe. However even if that’s accurate it’s also possible that a ban on European flights will be signed, to sync up with what was announced on television.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Just boarded my BA Flight from ORD to LHR I feel bit like brad Pitt in world war Z!

    Talk about someone trying to show they are tough but jeeze this has to be a disaster for the world economy, more then the actually 115k sick people.

    Personally I’m not scared of corona virus just the idiot responses from people who are afraid

  2. Infected people have been entering the US since late last winter. The horse is out of the barn. I’m torn re planned trip to Colombia–not that I’ll get infected there, but I’ll get sick there. If I’m going to be in an ICU, I’d like it to be here in the US. (I’m ancient ;))

  3. Exempting UK from the ban just means people will take trains to/from London and the Continent so it doesn’t actually do anything but fill up the EuroStar.

  4. @Ben O : I feel exactly the same mate….. well said……

    I just wish people would stop panicking…… the media must take responsibility….. if we look at the numbers: 126,000 world wide infected, 4630 deaths, 3172 are in China, rest of the world 1458. And of that 1458, 1315 deaths in Europe. So the President is right in closing things down for a few weeks. 100% correct decision.

    Not one of those who have died is under 40yo. Yes, it’s bad, it’s awful, it’s very sad for those who have lost loves ones, but let’s hope the media get a grip and stop the fake news hysteria. 37,000 last year died in the USA from Influenza.

    I’m fortunate to live in this beautiful island country of Sri Lanka, until yesterday, we had only 1 recovered victim in the early days of late January. Today we have a second person reported infected.

  5. We’re all gonna catch it at some point, sooner or later. Maybe it’s better to get it now, & build up the basic antibodies to it, rather than AFTER it mutates into something worse…? Option #1 is to stay holed up in your house until a vaccine is developed… about 1 year. (That’s a lot of toilet paper to store.) Option #2 is to go about your life, washing your hands and staying away from coughing people. In fact, you can even travel within the U.S, and flights are CHEAP!!! Option #3 is go wherever you want in the world, carry Lysol wipes with you, and see what happens. Personally, I think Option #2 is the best. YMMV

  6. This is a smart move Trump made. If all flights from East Asia were banned a month ago to all countries this wouldn’t have spread. Same if all flights from Italy and Iran were banned 2 weeks ago. Right now Europe has too many clusters to contain as people can just cross the border in a car from one of the most infected countries. I wish all travel was banned to the U.S. for 30 days but I see the logic in the U.K. being excluded from the ban as it is an island. People hopefully are being screened before they fly there or take the Eurostar. Anyone who has a passport entry or exit stamp from continental europe in the last month I think (hope) will be banned.

    Travel bloggers have been to caviler about recommending travel in the last month. The spread in the U.S. could be stopped if people didn’t put their concerts, vacations, cruises or trips above the safety of others who maybe are at the age of higher complication risks.

  7. I expect a decent number of people in Schengen to fly to Ireland then take a land crossing to N Ireland to avoid a recent Euro passport stamp, allowing them to fly to the US or avoid quarantine.

  8. @Ben

    Pretty sure the UK is still treating travel the same as pre-Brexit. EU citizens will on need a national ID to enter, so they can just take the train if they want to stay off flight manifests.

    This is so stupid.

  9. Oh great moron in chief is still allowing travel to the country that the dieses originated from. Stupidity at it’s finest.

  10. @Gary – I’d value some insight from you on this. Even where I disagree with you, you tend to make a good argument.
    Personally, I think this is security theater. Is stopping people from Iceland from visiting us really going to help? It makes it look like the government is doing something.

  11. It’s been clarified by the DHS. Gary you’re pretty much right.

    Same as the China ban. Foreigners (with same exemptions) who have been in the SCHENGEN Area within 14 days are banned from entering the US.

    So those who are visiting from the UK *and* Ireland (and the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) are exempted as long as they haven’t been in Schengen within 14 days. And there are other EU countries not (yet) in Schengen (Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Cyprus) also exempt.

    Of course citizens of those “exempt” countries are still banned if they’ve been to Schengen within 14 days of travel to the US.

    I don’t think Trump could have covered all that in a 90 second address. Most Americans would’t know what Schengen is. So I give him pass.

  12. One of the first doctors to identify and report this virus in China was 38 years old — it killed him. This is many times more deadly than most flus. And MOST people who get it carry and spread it without knowing it. If this overwhelms our medical capacity, many more people will die than if it is slowed. The most sick need ventilators – of which there is a finite number.
    Slowing it also gives the medical community time to develop better treatments and perhaps a vaccine. Trump is doing the right thing. Though two days ago he was on a different course, and who knows what course he’ll set two days from now. This graphic illustrates why slowing this is important:

  13. Honestly, if you look at the pattern of infection in the US (very few tests, people who are tested showing up as positive with no international travel or contact with a known carrier) I think you have a better chance to catch it in the US than some overseas countries, like Singapore. Lots more new cases in New York last week than Shanghai!

    As for cutting off flights to Europe- too little, too late. Expect some European countries to pass a similar law about the US in the next few weeks, because infection rates will be higher than their country…

    In the end, either the US or Iran will finish top of the rankings for infections and deaths. I saw one credible analysis that estimated 2M infected people in Iran right now- sure hope it doesn’t get that bad in the US…

  14. Does anyone really think this ban will only last 30 days? I’m sure it’s going to be extended over and over again.

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