Europe Travel Ban: Here’s What You Need to KnowBy Kathleen Burns, published on Mar 12, 2020
Answers to all of your questions about the recent ban on travel from Europe
Wednesday night, President Donald Trump announced a 30-day travel ban between the United States and the European continent in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19. But what does that really mean and exactly who is affected?
What is the reason for the travel ban?
Trump announced that due to the continuous rapid spread of COVID-19 in Europe, the travel ban is meant to reduce the number of cases entering the United States. Some of the current cases in the US have been tied to travelers from Europe, which triggered this response from the President.
When does the ban start and how long will it last?
The travel ban is active starting on Friday March 13th at 11:59 PM US Eastern time. Active flights during that time will be allowed to land. The current plan is for the ban to last 30 days, but it will remain in effect until the President lifts it.
Who does the travel ban affect?
The travel ban only affects foreign passport holders. American citizens and permanent residents are exempt — US passport holders are still free to fly to and from Europe, but should expect to be screened for the virus upon their return. Health professionals involved in international efforts to limit the virus, as well as diplomats and air and sea crew, are also exempt from the ban.
What countries are included/excluded from the ban?
Countries included in the travel ban are 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.
The UK and Ireland are not included.
Will passengers be refunded for any cancelled flights to/from Europe?
Airlines are not responsible for reimbursing passengers for flights that were cancelled for reasons outside of the airline’s control, like a government-imposed travel ban. However, they are responsible for aiding in the health and wellbeing of travelers stranded at airports, including rebooking flights. It is reasonable to expect that airlines will announce updated cancellation and refund policies in the next day or two in response to this travel ban.
We will continue to update this post as new information is released.