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Ireland and the United Kingdom Added to Travel Restrictions, USCBP Designates Airports To Receive Flights From Europe

16 Mar

On March 11, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation restricting travel to the United States by most people who have been in most areas of Europe within the past 14 days. The restriction went into effect at 11:59 pm EDT on Friday, March 13, 2020.  It will remain in effect for 30 days.

The Schengen Area

The impacted area of Europe is the Schengen area, which includes 26 European countries that allow for unrestricted movement of people.

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

On Saturday, non-Schengen countries Ireland and the United Kingdom were added to the restricted travel list effective Monday, March 16, 2020.

Restricted Passengers and Exceptions

Foreign nationals who have been physically present in the Schengen area, Ireland, or the United Kingdom within the past 14 days before boarding a flight to the U.S. will not be permitted to board unless they fall under one of the exceptions outlined in the President’s proclamation. U.S. citizens are not subject to the proclamation.  Additionally, the proclamation outlined the following exceptions:

  • Any U.S. lawful permanent resident
  • Any foreign national who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen or U.S. lawful permanent resident
  • Any foreign national who is the parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21
  • Any foreign national who is the sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that both are unmarried an under the age of 21
  • Any foreign national who is the child, foster child, or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications
  • Any foreign national traveling at the invitation of the United States government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus
  • Any foreign national traveling as a nonimmigrant pursuant to a C-1, D, or C-1/D nonimmigrant visa as a crewmember or any alien otherwise traveling to the United States as air or sea crew
  • Certain foreign nationals whose travel is covered by Section 11 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, spouses, and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Certain foreign nationals who are determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services not to pose a significant risk, who are determined by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to be needed for a law enforcement purpose, and certain foreign nationals whose entry is determined to be in the U.S. national interest. 

CBP Designated Airports for Return of Travelers Excepted from the Travel Restrictions

Travelers who are not prohibited from travel to the United States because they meet one of the exceptions to the travel restrictions must nevertheless arrive at one of the 13 designated U.S. airports. Designated airports include: 

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport, (JFK), New York
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport, (ORD), Illinois
  • San Francisco International Airport, (SFO), California
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, (SEA), Washington
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, (HNL), Hawaii
  • Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, (IAD), Virginia
  • Newark-Liberty International Airport, (EWR), New Jersey
  • Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, (DFW), Texas
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport, (DTW), Michigan
  • Boston Logan International Airport, (BOS), Massachusetts
  • Miami International Airport, (MIA), Florida

Travelers meeting one of the exceptions and arriving at these airports after having been physically present in the restricted area will be subject to additional screening and could potentially be subject to self-quarantine or other mitigating steps to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Travelers must present appropriate travel documentation, such as valid visa stamps in valid passports and must have the appropriate visa for the purpose of their admission. Additionally, those who fall under one of the exceptions involving family relationship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident must present evidence of the qualifying relationship, such as a birth certificate or marriage certificate.

Other Travel Restrictiosn Remain in Place

In addition to the travel restrictions on those previously in the Schengen area, Ireland, or the United Kingdom, earlier Presidential Proclamations imposing travel restrictions remain in place.  Accordingly, travelers who have been physically present in Iran or China (other than Hong Kong and Macau) within the 14 days prior to travel are prohibited from entering the United States.

Travelers who are not specifically subject to these travel restrictions may still be subject to additional screening upon arrival, particularly if they are arriving from a location that is currently labeled a Level 2 or Level 3 travel risk.  Other travelers may be subject to additional screening based on evolving circumstances, and all travelers should be prepared for a lengthier period clearing customs upon arrival on international flights.

Travel to Other Countries

The United States is not the only country implementing travel restrictions.  Various other countries around the world have limited or restricted incoming international travelers.  The restrictions vary by country and may impact only some travelers or travelers from certain countries.  Travelers may access current information compiled by the U.S. Department of State via a special “COVID-19 Country Specific Information” webpage the Department has setup on its website.  Because global travel restrictions can change anytime and could result in stranding passengers abroad, and because international travel is seen to increase the risk of exposure to COVID-19, the United States Department of State has issued a “Global Level 3 Health Advisory” urging U .S. citizens to reconsider any international travel at this time.

Foster will continue to monitor government action related to COVID-19 and will provide additional updates on the immigration-related impacts of COVID-19 via our firm’s website at www.fosterglobal.com.