President Donald Trump bans travel from Europe for 30 days over coronavirus outbreak
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
President Donald Trump has ordered a ban on travel from Europe as coronavirus continues to spread in the United States. The ban will be in place for the next 30 days, and Americans currently in Europe will be allowed to return home. After the president spoke, the Department of Homeland Security clarified the president’s remarks and walked back some of the comments.
Related: Should I travel?
Also tonight: Is the U.S. about to ban travel to Europe?
In an Oval Office address on coronavirus March 11 at 9pm ET., President Trump said, “We are marshaling the full power of the federal government. I am confident that we will significantly reduce the threat.. and defeat this virus.”
The ban on travel from Europe will go into effect Friday, March 13 at Midnight and does not include Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales. The president had originally said last night that trade and cargo will also come to a halt under the new guidelines. That turns out not to be the case.
It also doesn’t impact Turkey, Russia or other non-Schengen nations. The Schengen Area has free trade and open borders within much of Europe and includes countries like France, Austria, Germany, Estonia, Czech Republic, Italy, and Holland among others.
The ban will allow exemptions for Americans who have undergone screenings before returning home, but it is unclear at this point how they will be screened.
The president suggested it was partly Europe’s fault that the outbreak is now spreading in the U.S., saying, “The EU failed to restrict travel.”
President Trump’s new policies on coronavirus and travel were not without critics. Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants, said on Twitter following the announcement, “This is outrageous. President Travel Ban is destroying everything that makes our country great. No consultation with experts or stakeholders. Dismantled vital government programs that actually help. He’s isolating us from the world and destroying freedom.”
As part of the new coronavirus policy, President Trump also stated that hospitals in the U.S. will waive co-payments for coronavirus treatments, and that his administration is “cutting red tape to make antivirals available.” He also pointed to the newly-passed $8.3 billion coronavirus funding bill.
The president also said that, for the vast majority of Americans, risk of contracting the virus is low. He did acknowledge, however, that the highest infection risk is for the elderly and warned that this group in particular should avoid non-essential travel.
He also encouraged all Americans to follow the CDC’s hygiene guidelines including:
- Washing hands
- Cleaning often-used surfaces
- Covering your mouth and nose when coughing
- Staying home if you’re sick
More than 1,000 people in more than 35 states are sick, and testing has not been widespread.
Dr. Anthony Fauci – the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – said today, “Things will get worse than they are.”
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad F Wolf issued a statement after the president’s speech tonight saying, in part:
The president said towards the end of the address, “Americans always rise to the challenge.”
Additional resources for traveling during the coronavirus outbreak:
- How coronavirus is impacting airline award availability
- How coronavirus has left the travel industry reeling
- Airlines scale back inflight offerings due to coronavirus
- How to ward off coronavirus in your hotel room
- Guide to traveling during the coronavirus outbreak
- Extreme measures cruise lines are taking during coronavirus
Photo of the White House from Spring of 2019 by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.