LOS ANGELES - On March 11, President Donald Trump announced a nationwide restriction on travel between the United States and Europe for 30 days.
Here’s what you need to know:
Who does it apply to?
The travel restriction itself applies to foreign nationals, not “legal permanent residents, (generally) immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation.” Based on Trump’s national address, it may have sounded like the restriction applied to U.S. citizens who were currently in Europe or were currently considering venturing to the continent.
From what the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has stated, though, the restrictions themselves only apply to most foreign nationals.
When did the restriction go into effect?
The restriction was made effective at 11:59 p.m. ET on March 13, according to President Trump’s proclamation.
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What countries does it apply to?
The restrictions apply to certain countries and for individuals who have been in them up to 14 days before their expected arrival in the U.S. The 14 countries, part of the “Schengen Area,” are:
Why those countries?
President Trump’s proclamation noted how multiple countries within the Schengen Area are “experiencing sustained person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2.”
Can I still fly to or from Europe if I’m a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident?
Yes. However, Americans who are returning from those countries will be “funneled through 13 different airports, where they will be screened for the novel coronavirus. Americans and legal residents returning to the US will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days,” Vice President Mike Pence said, according to CNN.
What are those 13 airports?
On Friday, the U.S. Department for Homeland Security announced that the 13 airports are:
- Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS), Massachusetts
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas
- Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan
- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
- Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California
- Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington
- Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia
In a press release, the department said that "upon arrival, travelers will proceed to standard customs processing. They will then continue to enhanced entry screening where the passenger will be asked about their medical history, current condition, and asked for contact information for local health authorities. Passengers will then be given written guidance about COVID-19 and directed to proceed to their final destination, and immediately home-quarantine in accordance with CDC best practices."
The practices also apply to those returning home from China or Iran.
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What are the exceptions?
The proclamation details circumstances in which foreign nationals may still be granted ability to travel, such as those who are the spouse of a U.S. permanent resident, or are the parent, sibling, or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen/permanent resident. You can see the full list of exemptions in Sec. 2 of the proclamation.
What happens if I am a foreign national and still try to come to the United States?
In President Trump’s proclamation, it states that “an alien who circumvents the application of this proclamation through fraud, willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or illegal entry shall be a priority for removal by the Department of Homeland Security.”
If I am a foreign national and was planning to travel to one of the countries, can I have my airline ticket or travel costs refunded?
Individuals should contact their airline to determine what options may be available for a refund.
If I am a foreign national who has visited one of these countries and am trying to return to the United States, how long will I have to wait?
According to the proclamation, the restriction is in effect until terminated by the president.