Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Stop the Hyperbole: Travel is NOT Banned Between the United States and Europe…

When Donald J. Trump — who is currently the president of the United States — signed a proclamation last night, Wednesday, March 11, 2020 which suspends the entry of most foreign nationals for 30 days who have been in 26 countries in Europe at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the United States effective as of tomorrow, Friday, March 13, 2020, the media went into yet another frenzy…

Stop the Hyperbole: Travel is NOT Banned Between the United States and Europe…

Granite Monument of Victory Victory Square Minsk
Belarus is one of the countries in Europe which is NOT affected by the suspension of travel for most foreign nationals from Europe to the United States. Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

…to the point in which numerous headlines suggested or implied that travel between the United States and Europe has been banned for 30 days — or altogether until further notice, in some cases.

That is NOT the case.

For clarification, I will again repeat the information found in this article which I posted last night here at The Gate — along with a few timely updates to that information since last night.

The proclamation is part of an effort to protect the United States and its citizens from the pandemic of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — which is also known as COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV — and does not apply to legal permanent residents, immediate family members of citizens of the United States in general, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation.

“Protecting the American people from threats to their safety is the most important job of the President of the United States”, according to this official statement from Chad F. Wolf, who is the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security of the United States. “The actions President Trump is taking to deny entry to foreign nationals who have been in affected areas will keep Americans safe and save American lives. I applaud the president for making this tough but necessary decision. While these new travel restrictions will be disruptive to some travelers, this decisive action is needed to protect the American public from further exposure to the potentially deadly coronavirus.”

The statement continues with “In January and February, the Administration issued similar travel restrictions on individuals who had been in China and Iran. That action proved to be effective in slowing the spread of the virus to the U.S., while public health officials prepared. In the next 48 hours, in the interest of public health, I intend to issue a supplemental Notice of Arrivals Restriction requiring U.S. passengers that have been in the Schengen Area to travel through select airports where the U.S. Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures.”

The 26 countries — which are included as part of the Schengen Area — of the total of 44 countries in Europe which are affected by the proclamation are listed in alphabetical order:

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

You can watch the complete speech by Donald Trump pertaining to this topic in this video.

This means that if you are a citizen of the United States, you are not affected by the suspension of travel from Europe to the United States. If you are not a citizen of the United States and have been to countries such the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Monaco, or Romania — even within the past 14 days — you are not affected by the suspension of travel from Europe to the United States. If you are not a citizen of the United States and have been to any of the aforementioned 26 countries greater than 14 days ago, you are not affected by the suspension of travel from Europe to the United States.

At the time this article was written, at least 4,613 people have died of the minimum of 124,847 confirmed cases in 118 countries and territories worldwide, according to this situation report from the World Health Organization pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

Summary

Tower Bridge and the Thames River London
England — or, for that matter, the United Kingdom — is one of the countries in Europe which is NOT affected by the suspension of travel for most foreign nationals from Europe to the United States. Photograph ©2008 by Brian Cohen.

I am technically not a journalist; but as a person who publicly disseminates information, I believe that I have a responsibility to report on news which affects you as accurately as possible — without resorting to hyperbole, “click bait”, or scare tactics to generate more views so that I can earn more money — in order for you to be properly informed…

…so I find other writers who irresponsibly report on topics in a sensationalist manner annoying because all they are doing is fueling the fire of mass hysteria — solely to get more views in the hopes of increasing revenue. To call out actual examples is unnecessary at this point, as plenty of articles can be found which demonstrate about what I am referring.

I appreciate when you find information in an article which I have written that is incorrect or inaccurate. I learn from being held accountable; and I stand behind what I write. Please continue to do so in a constructive manner. Let us work together through this health concern on our way back to leading our lives in a normal manner.

This article is the latest in a series pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in an effort to get the facts out with information derived from reliable sources.

Other articles at The Gate which pertain to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus include:

Romania is one of the countries in Europe which is NOT affected by the suspension of travel for most foreign nationals from Europe to the United States. All photographs ©2007, ©2008, and ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

  1. And Americans/residents returning from Europe need to self-isolate upon arrival. The only reason americans are exempt because you cannot legally prevent an american from repatriating to their home country. So in the general sense of it all, travel between the EU-Schengen area countries and the USA is basically shut down. Do you think airlines are gonna keep flying empty planes if the only passengers they can board are Americans?

    1. The key point in your argument is “EU-Schengen area countries”, Tony — which basically supports the point in the article that travel between the United States and Europe has not been banned, as numerous headlines imply that all travelers are prohibited from traveling to and from all of Europe.

  2. “ When Donald J. Trump — who is currently the president of the United States”
    I couldn’t read past that. Wow! Like somehow we don’t know. Where did you learn to write? Or did you?

  3. Something is wrong in your post. Hungary is in fact affected by the ban since Hungary is part of the Schengen area.

    Other countries like Cyprus, Romania, Ireland, … are not affected, but Hungary is.

  4. Travel is banned Brian. There won’t be flights for those few people that will be allowed. This isnt Hyperbole, there will be no Business or tourism to those 26 countries and airlines won’t have flights to transport the few

    1. I agree that the proclamation will significantly impact travel for those who are not based in the United States, Ryan; but I firmly believe that the media has done a disastrous job overall at reporting on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus issue in terms of calming fears.

      For example: although travel has been significantly impacted for citizens and permanent residents of the United States, headlines which imply that travel has been banned between the United States and Europe will have them automatically believe that they are not permitted to travel between the United States and Europe — and that is simply not the case.

  5. You’re being unfair here. Many reported it as it came “from the horse’s mouth” and didn’t get a chance to update the stories with the proclamation until the morning.

    Unless you’re part of a media organization, you had to be “at work” after the proclamation came out to have been able to update the story in a timely fashion. Some of those reporting are on trips in time zones in which it was late night/early morning; others are actually based in those time zones; others had simply signed off for the night. Pretty much everyone has corrected it now.

    Not everyone is able to follow a story for hours to make sure nothing changes.

    1. Although your point is well taken and certainly understandable, George, some writers who are able to “follow a story for hours to make sure nothing changes” were equally as complicit with irresponsible reporting — and no, I am not giving a free pass to the politicians and leaders who broadcast misinformation which resulted in mass confusion.

      In fact, I had fellow bloggers in mind when I wrote this article — some of whom decided to use misleading headlines even after I posted this article.

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