3/16 UPDATE: This blog post has been updated to reflect newly announced changes to this measure. Please continue to check with the U.S. State Department for the latest information.
Due to concerns surrounding the spread and containment of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the U.S. Government has announced restrictions on travel from certain European countries, effective March 13. Here’s what you need to know about the temporary travel suspension.
The measure takes effect at 12 a.m. ET on Friday, March 13 and will last for a period of 30 days. At this point, there is no information on whether it will be extended past the initial period. Health and government officials plan to monitor the spread of COVID-19 before making adjustments or extensions to the suspension.
Who is Impacted?
Currently, U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents are exempt from the travel restrictions. U.S. citizens and residents can continue to visit and return from the European countries included in the suspension.
While the new restriction has been dubbed the “European Travel Ban,” the measure initially only applied to countries in the European Union's Schengen Area, which allows select passport holders to travel between 26 participating countries without border checkpoints. However, as of March 16 this measure has been updated to include all Schengen-participating countries as well as the United Kingdom and Ireland, which were originally exempt from the restrictions.
In addition to European residents who live in the restricted areas, most foreign nationals who have visited the affected countries in the past 14 days will not be allowed to travel to the United States.
Planning Future Travel
Although U.S. citizens are exempt from the new travel measure, they will be required to undergo an enhanced health screening and self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival from any of the restricted European countries. While abroad, travelers should travel safe and stay informed, using precautionary hygiene measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Additionally, individual European countries have instated their own travel advisories and border restrictions. Travelers should expect disruptions in public services, businesses, and transportation.
If you have travelers visiting Europe, your Travel Management Company (TMC) can help you assess your Duty of Care responsibilities and identify risk management tools and strategies. Contact us to learn more about implementing these solutions into your travel program.