WASHINGTON DC – New travel restrictions ensure that travelers from Europe won’t be allowed to enter the U.S. from most of Europe for a period of 30 days to prevent the spread of coronavirus, President Trump announced on Wednesday. The temporary restrictions go into effect on Friday March 13 at midnight, but don’t apply to travel from the UK, CNET reports. The restrictions will have another massive impact to aviation.
“To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days,” President Trump said on Wednesday evening in a televised address from the Oval Office. “There will be exemptions for Americans who have gone through appropriate screenings. These restrictions will not apply to the United Kingdom.”
Although the president suggested that the ban would also apply to cargo – during the address – Trump later backtracked on that in a tweet after the address:
WHO declared coronavirus outbreak a pandemic
Trump’s address came after the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, earlier on Wednesday. Initially, the WHO did not call the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic in an attempt to prevent panic worldwide. The organization suggested containment measures were helping control the spread and experts suggested that the conditions were met in late February. In the meantime case numbers in Italy, Iran and South Korea began to climb rapidly.
According to President Trump, the European Union has not taken sufficient measures to prevent the coronavirus, therefore every effort should be made to prevent its spread in the US.
A new setback for aviation
President Trump’s last minute decision hits European aviation hard, luchtvaartnieuws reported. Every effort is being made to adjust flight operations and passengers are informed of their options as soon as possible.
The decision will give the already plagued aviation sector a new blow to deal with. First the Asian market collapsed, after which a large number of flights within Europe were also canceled. Due to the US travel ban, although temporary in nature, again an important market segment disappears.
Major airports in Europe, like Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle are connected to the U.S. several times a day. From Amsterdam Schiphol for instance, there are flights to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Newark, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Washington. These flights from The Netherlands to the U.S. are operated by KLM, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines.
Incidentally, Americans will be allowed to travel back and forth between the U.S. and Europe and exceptions are also made for the UK and for cargo flights.
(Head photo: Shealah Craighead / The White House, Washington DC. President Trump waves as he disembarks Air Force One at MCAS Miramar, San Diego on September 18, 2019).