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The White House Bans Travel From Europe for 30 Days

The White House Bans Travel From Europe for 30 Days
Joe Cortez

Travelers who wish to leave continental Europe for the United States will have one day to do so, after President Donald Trump announced a shutdown of all inbound deliveries from the area to the United States. The president made the comments during a televised address to the nation about the spread of COVID-19 – popularly known as Coronavirus – on Mar. 11, 2020.

“We will be suspending all travel from Europe.”

During the nine-minute address, the president announced several sweeping measures to stimulate economic growth and prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the United States. The beginning of the address noted the shutdown and quarantine of travel from China to the U.S.

“At the very start of the outbreak, we instituted sweeping travel restrictions on China,” the president said, “And put in place the first federally mandated quarantine in over 50 years.”

He immediately shifted focus on inbound travel from Europe. Blaming the European Union by saying they “…failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hotspots,” the president declared a closure of travel from Europe to the U.S. starting midnight Friday, Mar. 14, 2020.

“After consulting with our top government health professionals, I have decided to take several strong but necessary actions to protect the health and wellbeing of all Americans,” the president stated. “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.”

The ban will include both passenger traffic and cargo inbound from continental Europe and Ireland to the United States. The United Kingdom will be exempt from these bans, and travel is expected to continue between the island nation and the U.S.

Trump left the door open for some flyers to enter America under certain conditions. The president noted exceptions for “Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings,” without getting into those details.

Travel industry reacts slowly to the news

As a whole, the travel industry has yet to react to the president’s primetime address. All three major American airlines – American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines – have not released a statement as of press time. Air carrier consortium Airlines for America has yet to react to the news but released a statement on the threat of COVID-19 on Mar. 10, 2020.

“The safety and wellbeing of passengers and crew is the top priority of U.S. carriers,” the statement reads before going into safety and preparation suggestions for travel. “They will not fly anywhere deemed unsafe, and right now domestic routes remain open for business. In fact, numerous government and health officials agree – it is safe to fly and America remains open for business.”

Minutes after the statement ended, Best Western Hotels and Resorts issued a letter to members of their loyalty program. In addition to outlining their health and wellness plan, company president David Kong assured members: “If you are a Best Western Rewards® program elite status member, we will protect your current status through January 31, 2022 without the need to fulfill the necessary annual stay qualifications.”

Earlier in the day, the World Health Organization declared: “We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.” In turn, German airline conglomerate Lufthansa cancelled 23,000 short, medium and long-haul flights between Mar. 29 and Apr. 24, 2020.

This is a breaking news story. This will be updated as additional information becomes available.

View Comments (15)


  1. stfods

    March 11, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    Wow. :( Would Istanbul count as Europe?

  2. loopflyer

    March 11, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    Two and a half months too late. Horses are out of the barn. That and the back doors are open for EU flyers to go to Canada and Mexico and simply take a connecting flight. A joke. Seal the borders. Short term pain for long term health!! Look at the nightmare unfolding in Italy. Most people don’t have a clue as to the dangers of this pathogen. Sad and frightening. People are willing to infect themselves and others without a second thought.

  3. skidooman

    March 11, 2020 at 7:45 pm

    That guy only knows how to build walls. Problem is, he has no idea how to contain the virus at home.

    So, in a month or two, when Europe and Asia are back from the brink and the pandemic is still in full swing in the USA, they may choose to repay Trump in kind by blocking Americans away.

    Just saying.

  4. eagle215

    March 11, 2020 at 8:36 pm


  5. IAN-UK

    March 11, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    Makes the Trump look almost statesmanlike for, oooooh, a nano-second or so.

  6. KRSW

    March 11, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    THIS is the reason I’ve not had any international travel booked — not being able to get back home. SO what are US citizens supposed to do if they can’t rearrange their schedule to find room on a flight today?

    COVID19 is already on US soil in multiple states. The bat’s already out of the bag. And what happens if you happen to get COVID19? You get the flu. Normal Influenza A/B has already killed far more people in the USA than COVID19 ever would.

  7. mvoight

    March 11, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    The UK has had more COVID-19 infected people than most of the countries Trump has banned travel from.

  8. FEasy

    March 12, 2020 at 6:34 am

    Trump is good at playing up a crisis or playing down a crisis. Managing one, not so much..

  9. roberto99

    March 12, 2020 at 6:57 am

    Author: The title should read “FROM Europe”.

  10. Tack

    March 12, 2020 at 10:05 am


    “The UK has had more COVID-19 infected people than most of the countries Trump has banned travel from.”

    Seeing that this latest travel ban is from all European countries, along with the ban that is already in place for travel from China, your statement is completely false. Feel free to browse the reported cases of COVID-19 as of 03/10/2020 via this link:

    But by all means, lets keep the non-factual hysteria of this virus circulating via false statements…..

  11. rylan

    March 12, 2020 at 10:50 am

    Too bad its WAY too late for a travel ban from the EU to have any reduction in cases here.

    The virus has been in circulation in the US for multiple weeks. It is just being defected now since states finally have the ability to run tests in meaningful numbers.

  12. CaliforniaSteve

    March 12, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    I would have shut down all international flights into or out of the US. Only US nationals and permanent residents in at the land border stations. That would be to protect both the US, but also protect other parts of the world since the virus is spreading around the US and US travel to other countries could import the virus to those locations.

    This all goes back to the terrible advice given by the World Health Organization at the start of this thing. They said that travel and trade to and from China should not be disrupted. As the epicenter of this disaster (and, yes, it is a disaster), all travel to and from China should have been halted. It might have been possible at that time to let the virus burn itself out in China and not impacted the rest of the world.

  13. Seattlenerd


    March 12, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    The Administration later clarified after the President spoke that the ban only applies to passengers, not cargo.

  14. born sleepy

    March 12, 2020 at 7:31 pm

    Trump is a joke. The stock markets agree.

  15. pferrandi


    March 12, 2020 at 11:01 pm

    There is no point outside of fueling the panic and wrecking the market (done!).
    Here are some key points that show the lack of preparedness of the government and why it is too late anyway to isolate:
    1) As said, in the US, there are already many known cases but most likely a significant amount of unknown cases that cannot be identified because tests are not readily available and because carriers with few symptoms will not get tested. Whether borders are fully closed, partially closed or not closed, Covid-19 will spread with existing cases in the US alone.
    2) Limiting access from some countries but not others and only for foreign nationals but not Americans/permanent residents coming back is useless … Unless everybody entering the US gets quarantined longer than the incubation period of the virus, this is not going to prevent cases to show up in early stages of incubation and participate into the pandemic spread
    So all we got from that stupid move is a market wreck and not pandemy control.
    I have been diagnosed with a coronavirus before … took me 2 weeks to go see a doctor because I was getting annoyed at that congestion feeling without really getting sick. I thought I had allergies but it was a coronavirus. We cross-contaminated in our team and because nobody got sick enough to feel like taking time off … it spread. Coronaviruses can be asymptomatic for some carrier, specifically when young and healthy … and I feel that death rate may be overestimated based on the testing pattern that focused on patients being admitted because they were weaker.

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