On March 11, 2020, President Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation, effective at 11:59 p.m. EST on March 13, 2020, which prohibits the entry of most foreign nationals who traveled to European – Schengen Area countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the U.S. These restrictions will not apply to individuals on flights scheduled to arrive in the United States prior to 11:59 p.m. EST on March 13, 2020. The travel restrictions are planned to be in place for 30 days; however, the administration will revisit them regularly to address the quickly changing environment. The European countries affected 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
  • Switzerland.

Although these travel restrictions are far-reaching, there are significant exceptions, most notably:

  • U.S. Citizens and legal permanent residents;
  • Spouses and other eligible immediate family members of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents;
  • U.S. Armed Forces members and their spouses and children;
  • Crew members traveling to the U.S. on air or sea vessels;
  • Diplomatic and U.N. representatives;
  • Any foreign nationals that would “further important United States law enforcement objectives” or whose entry would be in the U.S. national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or other relevant U.S. government entity.

The Department of Homeland Security intends to publish a supplemental Notice of Arrivals Restriction, which will require eligible passengers that have traveled to the affected Schengen areas to travel through selected airports, which will be equipped to administer enhanced screening procedures against COVID-19.

We will continue to monitor this rapidly changing situation. If any urgent travel plans arise, please contact your GT professional immediately.

For more information, see our earlier post, U.S. Immigration and Coronavirus Disease 2019 – Facts, Thoughts, Questions and Answers.