Novel Coronavirus European Travel Ban (Effective March 13, 2020)

Airport terminal and coronavirus sign
Photo Credit: istock.com/Marta Ortiz

By Frida Glucoft and Benjamin Lau

On March 11, 2020, the White House issued Proclamation 9984 “Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus,” which suspends entry to the United States for immigrants and nonimmigrants who were physically present in the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their arrival to the United States. The Schengen Area includes the following 26 countries:

Austria Hungary Norway
Belgium Iceland Poland
Czech Republic Italy Portugal
Denmark Latvia Slovakia
Estonia Liechtenstein Slovenia
Finland Lithuania Spain
France Luxembourg Sweden
Germany Malta Switzerland
Greece Netherlands

Exceptions: The travel restriction does not apply to US Citizens, legal permanent residents (green card holders), spouses of US Citizens or legal permanent residents, unmarried children under the age of 21 of US Citizens or legal permanent residents, parents or legal guardians of US Citizens or legal permanent residents who are unmarried and under the age of 21, or members of the US Armed Forces and spouses and children of members of the US Armed Forces. Additional less common immigration statuses, such as individuals traveling on diplomatic visas, United Nation visas, or C-1/D crewmember visas, are also excluded from the travel restriction.

Effective Date: The restriction will go into effect on Friday, March 13 at 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time. The restriction does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time on March 13, 2020.

Nonimmigrant Visa Holders: We recommend that employers advise all nonimmigrant visa employees to remain in the United States and not travel internationally at this time.  If a nonimmigrant visa employee has an expiring visa status, please contact your attorney to discuss visa options for that employee.

Enhanced Screening: The Department of Homeland Security has not stated whether US Citizens or legal permanent residents returning from the Schengen Area will be subject to any quarantine procedures. However, it is possible that individuals returning from the Schengen Area may be directed to certain airports for enhanced screening, as has been implemented for travelers returning from China. Information regarding the DHS screening procedures for individuals returning from China can be found here.

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