Recent visitors to UK, Ireland, Europe barred from entering the USA

Coronavirus: the United States shuts its borders to travellers who’ve visited the UK, Europe in the 14 days prior to US arrival.

By Chris Chamberlin , March 14 2020
Recent visitors to UK, Ireland, Europe barred from entering the USA

Travellers who've visited the UK, Ireland or any countries in the European Schengen Area in the 14 days prior to their US arrival will now be blocked from entering the United States, in a dramatic extension of temporary travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The  rule covers all international flights bound for the United States – including those from Australia, New Zealand and around the world – which depart after 11:59pm US eastern daylight time on March 13, 2020: that’s 2:59pm Sydney time on Saturday March 14.

Passengers on any of those inbound flights worldwide may be denied boarding if they've been in the European Schengen Area, the UK or Ireland in the past 14 days, even if they are now flying to the US from a different country. US citizens, lawful US permanent residents and the spouse and immediate family of the same are exempted from the ban.

US travel ban: which European countries are affected?

The Schengen Area is comprised of 26 countries: 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.

Read: What the 'Schengen Area' means for your European trip

Most international passengers travelling to the United States already need to complete a ‘security interview’ and passport check prior to boarding their US-bound flight. It’s expected these checks will be expanded to include questions regarding European travel and a closer inspection of passport stamps.

US travel restrictions also continue to also apply to those who've visited China or Iran.

Elsewhere, India is largely closing its borders to foreign travellers from this week, suspending the use of most visas – including all tourist visas – until at least April 15 2020. Exceptions apply for those with employment, diplomatic, official, United Nations, or ‘project’ visas.

In related news, Qantas is pushing back the launch of its Brisbane-Chicago flights until later this year while also pausing flights from both Melbourne and Brisbane to San Francisco from next month, as part of broader network changes in response to the coronavirus

Read: Qantas cuts Airbus A380 flights, drops Singapore-London

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 471

Am I the only one that thinks this is being made bigger then what it actually is and we should just move on?

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 243

Move on to what, more people dying?

Realistically you have no authority on the matter as scientists don't even know what is exactly is. If this helps slow the virus down, then I'm all for it.

08 Feb 2018

Total posts 92

I'm sorry but the tone of your reply is not appropriate, the poster was simply noting that there appears to be a lot of over-reaction to this issue. A lot of people agree with the poster, myself included. Some people disagree and that's OK too.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 243

I'm free to disagree however I choose - and when the virus does become a bigger issue in Australia, the ol 'she'll be right attitude' that we have here will be thrown right out the window. It's incredulous to think that we'll be fine in Australia just because it hasn't hit us yet.

It's incredulous to think that hundreds of people are now starting to die per day in Europe, but because we're in Australia it's not a big deal let's move on.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1221

It's certainly curious, isn't it.

21 Aug 2019

Total posts 50

I get your point but also others noting perhaps the wording may be a little harsh. To your point, the media firestorm has driven this on. I'm not a medical or scientific person but there is a dearth of hard fact based opinion. People have died but how many from an underlying condition. How many fit healthy people have died from this? At DFW yesterday it was very very quiet. The AA flights from Terminal D were cancelled or visibly light loads. On QF 8 the numbers were down. So we are travelling less but the reality is that this response globally is not coordinated and seemingly driven by media opinion and general hysteria. First time I'm guessing that a run on toilet paper has shaped government policy.

BAEC

10 Jul 2019

Total posts 9

I think the issue sensationalism, report the facts and that's all. Its not just this publication, its all of them. I recently read (as in today) that 1.5m people in NSW with contract this virus (the headline), sure, but lets keep this in perspective circa 112k have world wide so far. So perhaps they shouldn't be leading with that. I believe that is the point UpUpAndAway is making.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 243

Understand & even agree, but the point I was making was closing the border is a good way to help stop the spread of FURTHER contagions - it will help the pressure on the internal cases already. It's not a bad temporary solution to slow the spreading. But it's here to stay - we can't just 'move on' from it.

BAEC

10 Jul 2019

Total posts 9

Quite, those sorts of measures seem to working elsewhere.

12 Aug 2017

Total posts 77

I think that it is too late. Yes shut the borders but it should be immediate and total. Consider the analogy of a submarine (country) taking on water (virus) and there is a watertight door (Airport) that will keep the rest of the submarine from sinking. There are people trapped in the damaged part. They are American, European, Asian, already mixing together. How can the sealed door only let in Americans? How come Americans carry some magic immunity that other nationalities don't?

Stay put. Stay where you are. Self isolate.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 471

Let's take the case of Epping Boys Grammar were the first person to contract the virus was a standard Aussie boy and they have now idea were he got it from, was it the train station, he hadn't been to Asia? I was just told this by a source 5 minutes ago.

This thing isn't killing young people like Sars did, I had a friend who's daughter died from Sars, and she was fit and healthy. I don't want to see anyone die from this including my elderly parents.

You think it's good idea to slow this thing down, yeah right, remember what happens around the world happens here after the rest of the world or the following morning. "Move On" and stop the panic toilet paper buying, the recession that will sell papers and news (excluding ET of course).

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 471

The world won't come to an end, The Sky isn't falling in.

TDAG: We've been very measured in our ‘coronavirus' reporting and I'd invite you to email me directly with any examples of ET articles where you feel the reporting strays from the facts and draws upon sensationalism as you claim, as the examples you've given were not published by us.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 136

Australia is now considering similar measures according to the ABC

12 Aug 2017

Total posts 77

We've been here before. 1976. Panleucopenia virus in cats mutated and became a disease of dogs. Parvovirus. This spread very quickly around the world by air travellers.

No dogs had immunity and many died because the virus was so aggressive. We started giving dogs the cat vaccine. The deaths stopped. It took a couple of years to produce a dog specific version.

Fortunately Coronavirus is less aggressive and most people survive.

01 Apr 2014

Total posts 90

Given that the majority of cases have a link back to inbound travellers (regardless of nationality), it makes sense to close our borders for 2 - 4 weeks to help stop new cases, and impose 14 day quaratine on returning citizens. Unfotunately, asking people to self quaratine is hit and miss as shown by some of the reckless exmaples of travellers who did not follow self quarantine advice, which should come with penalties if they don't comply.

13 Mar 2020

Total posts 2

It amazes me that there has been no media interviews or updates with any of the “SURVIVORS”. I'm leaning toward scare tactics, myself. The common flu has killed more people this year.

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 169

All those doubters should educate themselves with events in Italy. Medics are basically triaging patients and leaving less viable ones to die. This virus outbreak is nothing like the normal seasonal flu, it's spreading far faster and there is no viable treatment or vaccine. I've sent all our staff home, no exceptions.

13 Mar 2020

Total posts 2

To further educate you; 57% of Italian deaths are over 80 years old... 32% are over 70.

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 169

Sure, But it's ok if they die right? Seriously.

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 169

And so 68% of deaths are under 70. Your stats, your values.

07 May 2016

Total posts 16

Not 68%! Interesting and tragic numbers, even if statistically challenged. If it's correct that 57% of the Italian deaths are people over 80, then the % of Italian deaths for people over 70 must be more than 57% and cannot be 32% as Chen Lee "educates" us. Probably the 32% is for ages 70 to 80. If so, then the % of Italian deaths for people up to and including 70 would be 100-57-32 = 11%, and not the 68% as calculated by aggie 57.

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 169

Yes, my logic and math was way off. But my point remains, that we need to treat this seriously and take what may to some seem like drastic action to reduce the risk to ourselves and especially to our medical services and people who otherwise will be overloaded. I started with the "oh, its just a flu" some weeks back and I get that in many ways that's still true, but a little bit of education about history and the spread of this virus sorted that out.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 297

Who said it was OK? No-one on this web site That I've seen so far).

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 297

Sorry, should read fnorman and response to Chen Lee's education in statistical sampling. Chen Lee's observation seems valid on the face of it ( all associated assumptions notwithstanding).

07 May 2016

Total posts 16

I agree it doesn't look like anyone said it was OK. Which post is suggesting otherwise??

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 297

Was responding to aggie57 post.

14 Mar 2020

Total posts 2

I am booked to fly to Memphis on Tuesday. I am booked on KLM from Edinburgh to............Amsterdam then to Atlanta before arriving into Memphis. I have been phoning KLM non stop since yesterday and cannot get through. So I have phoned two local travel agents for advice. One has said oh you wont be able to fly on that Amsterdam to the USA...........the other said yes you will be able to fly as you are only connecting in that airport. Can anyone help please!!

07 May 2016

Total posts 16

If you a US citizen, an immediate family member of a US citizen, or a legal US permanent resident, then the restrictions on entry for travellers coming from the Schengen area (which Amsterdam is in) do not apply to you and you should be able to travel to the USA. If you are none of the above, you are prohibited because as an "alien" residing in or recently visiting a Schengen area you endanger the health of Americans. As you have found, there is confusion as to whether someone starting from the UK (outside Schengen) who is merely transitting the Schengen area en-route to the US is treated as a visitor or resident in the Schengen are and therefore included in the prohibition. Like travels agents and like some people in the airlines I have no certain information on that. Although the prohibition was announced as a 30-day ban, the order actually say it remains in effect until the president terminates it, so we cannot be sure when it will end. (https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-certain-additional-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 297

To norman, when you lower the age parameter from 80 to 70, the population size is the sample (the denominator in the equation) grows. Hence the likelihood of the resultant sample most likely reducing if age (and associated health issues) is a contributing factor. I have parents in mid-80s and I know how small 'niggles' in their 60s are today much more serious.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 297

To Haggis, if your USA destination is important, I recommend you change flight plans, fly there DIRECT from Aus, then do your EU trips AFTER and separately. An added cost I know, but better than getting to US CBP and denied entry. WHO have now classed EU as the global epicentre, no longer China.

14 Mar 2020

Total posts 2

To Boeing Tragic

I live in Scotland - I don't want to do any EU trip - it's a connecting flight that takes me to Amsterdam

Depart Edinburgh > Amsterdam

Amsterdam > Atlanta

Atlanta > Memphis

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 297

Tthanks Haggis, my misunderstanding. But I think the risk of denied entry is quite high as Customs and Border Protection staff dont have much discretion and are reluctant to exercise any they have.

Much safer, if you can, to change flights/airlines and go direct from a UK airport to a US airport. Safe travels, Amigo.

07 May 2016

Total posts 16

To Boeing Tragic. I would agree with your logic if the denominator was the population in the sample. but Lee Chen was quoting figures as a "% of Italian deaths" so the denominator is the total of Italian deaths, not the size of the population in each age group.


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