US Bans Travel from Europe
Breaking news: US bans travel from Europe.
Last night it was announced that the US is implementing a 30-day ban on travel to the US by those who have recently been in certain European countries. The ban was originally expected to restrict cargo as well, but it is now clear that trans-Atlantic trade in goods will not be halted.The ban will not apply to American citizens or permanent residents; however, Americans will have to undergo screening before travel.
The travel ban applies to 26 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The economic impact of the ban will reach far and wide. After the travel ban was announced last night, airline stocks took a major blow plummeting as much as 20%. Air France, Lufthansa and IAG have all been hit particularly hard. The airline industry has been among the hardest-hit sectors by the coronavirus.
The U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement regarding the ban:
Temporarily shutting off travel from Europe is going to exacerbate the already-heavy impact of coronavirus on the travel industry and the 15.7 million Americans whose jobs depend on travel. We have and will continue to engage Congress and the administration on policy steps that are necessary to ensure that travel employers—83% of which are small businesses—can keep the lights on for their employees.
Travel between the US and Europe is a massive business that accounts for approximately $130 billion annually and a 30-day ban could have significant macroeconomic implications. In a given month, 850,000 international visitors from Europe (not including the UK) enter the US and spend over $3 billion in the US.
The manufacturing industry is also being severely impacted by the virus. A survey conducted by the National Association of Manufactures found that almost 80% of manufactures anticipate a negative financial impact.
The National Basketball Association just announced that it is suspending its season due to concerns about the coronavirus after, Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz, tested positive. The NBA took swift action after the confirmed case and it is expected that their move will influence other major organizations to take similar measures. As of now, it is unclear if the popular NCAA March Madness Tournament will go on as scheduled.
While the US braces for the economic and health reverberations of the coronavirus, China appears to be bouncing back. Infections in China have been dramatically decreasing and people are starting to go back to work. Chinese officials claim the country passed the peak of the outbreak. However, as the rest of the world wrestles with the virus, China will likely continue to see significant economic implications.
Before it was announced that the US bans travel from Europe, a China and Iran travel ban was put into place. The ban restricted entry of any foreign national who visited China or Iran within the 14-day period preceding their attempted entry to the US. The ban allowed for American citizens, lawful permanent residents, and their families who have been in China or Iran in the past 14 days to enter the United States but only through one of 11 airports so they may undergo health screening.
How the coronavirus will impact foreign nationals from other countries who are attempting to enter the US is yet to be seen. As of now, you can expect delays and added screenings but there has been no indication from USCIS or CBP that visa applications by foreign nationals who have not been to Europe, China, or Iran recently will be impacted.
The most recent move by USCIS was implementing a nationwide Remote Work Program. USCIS claims the reason for the change was not the coronavirus but rather to “support more flexible and agile work environment…”
According to the World Health Organization, there are now 124,519 cases of the coronavirus and 4,607 deaths globally. With the increasing numbers, the WHO recently declared the virus a pandemic.
The virus has made its way to Canada and a recent report found that up to 26 million Canadians could become infected. As of now, there are 103 confirmed cases in Canada (42 in Ontario and 7 in Quebec). As concerns are mounting, Canada announced a $1-billion response plan to contain and fight the virus. The bulk of the response fund ($500 million) will go to supporting the provinces and territories so they can secure appropriate medical gear.
Canada is also improving its ability to test for the virus. The Ontario provincial lab system will soon have the ability to test approximately 1,000 samples per day and provide results within 6 hours. Montreal has dedicated three clinics to testing for the virus. The newest screening center is located at the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital, which has the capacity to test 50-80 patients a day. If you are in the area and think you may have been infected, dial 811 to book an appointment.
To contain the virus, many experts are advising people to avoid large crowds and travel. Furthermore, the WHO has listed the following as basic protective measures against the virus:
- Washing your hands frequently with an alcohol-based rub or with soap and water.
- Maintaining at least 3-feet distance between your self and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
- Covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
- If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care.
The news that the US bans travel from Europe is surprising, however if the virus continues to grow the US may further expand the ban to include more countries. Silver Immigration will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates. If you have the need to travel to the US and have recently been to Europe, please consult with an immigration attorney to discuss your options.