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Coronavirus: What you need to know about Trump’s Europe travel ban

US President Donald Trump has announced a travel ban from most European countries in response to the coronavirus spread.

Coronavirus: What you need to know about Trump's Europe travel ban
Donald Trump announces his Europe travel ban. AFP

The ban, which does not include the UK or Ireland, will begin at 11.59pm on Friday, March 13th and last for 30 days. It will include all countries in Europe's Schengen area.

That means all foreign nationals, unless they are exempt from the ban (see below) won't be allowed to board planes for the US from Schengen countries while the ban is in place.

The restrictions do not apply to permanent residents in the US who need to get home to the US or their close family members, although it is possible that airlines may cancel flights in the days ahead as passenger numbers fall.

The countries in the Schengen area are: 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 and Switzerland.

Trump blamed EU countries for not acting quickly enough to stem the spread of the “foreign virus”. The president had previously banned travel from China when the virus was spreading rapidly through the country.

“The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hotspots. As a result a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travellers from Europe.”

At least 1,257 people in 44 states and Washington, DC have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the latest figures from the New York Times database. At least 37 patients with the virus have died.

In Europe the number of cases has passed the 22,000 mark with 930 deaths.

Trump said: “In total, as of March 9th, 2020, the Schengen Area has exported 201 COVID-19 cases to 53 countries. Moreover, the free flow of people between the Schengen Area countries makes the task of managing the spread of the virus difficult.”

What we know about who is affected by the ban and who isn't

It affects most foreign nationals who have been in Schengen area countries for 14 days before the ban comes into place at 11.59pm Friday March 13th.

It won't affect flights that depart before then but are due to land in the US after that time.

“I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States,” reads the full text of the restrictions.

The restriction doesn't apply to travel from the UK or Ireland, but it was unclear how US authorities plan to deal with foreign nationals travelling from Europe to the US via those countries.

Permanent residents of the US are not affected by the ban as are certain family members such as their children. Children of US nationals or permanent residents will also be allowed entry.

Legal spouses of US citizens or permanent residents are also not affected as are parents of US citizens or permanent residents as long as their children are unmarried and under the age of 21.

Siblings of US citizens or permanent residents are also exempt, “provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21.”

Other exceptions are made for foreign nationals including crew members on planes or boats, UN or Nato employees and those travelling on the invitation of the US government.

It also exempts “any alien whose entry would not pose a significant risk of introducing, transmitting, or spreading the virus, as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services”.

The US Department of Homeland Security has said that further guidance on the travel suspension will come within the next two days.

The declaration warns that: “An alien who circumvents the application of this proclamation through fraud, willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or illegal entry shall be a priority for removal by the Department of Homeland Security.

How has Europe reacted?

So far reaction to Trump's ban has been muted but that may change throughout the day.

President of the European Council Charles Michel tweeted “we will assess the situation today.”

“Economic disruption must be avoided. Europe is taking all necessary measures to contain the spread of the COVID19 virus, limit the number of affected people and support research.”

The World Health Organisation has previously advised against closing borders and banning international travel.


Member comments

  1. The restriction doesn’t apply to travel from the UK, but it was unclear how US authorities plan to deal with foreign nationals travelling from Europe to the US via the UK. EXACTLY.
    Can we spell IRRESPONBIBLE?

  2. You need to have your passport associated to your ticket days in advance of your flight to USA. When we flew back to the USA from Sweden we went from Stockholm to Denmark, thru Danish passport kontrol then to the USA so the passport had multiple stamps plus RFID so they’d know when you board the plane with final destination to USA where you came from and would probably exclude you from boarding. In the airport you were screened and kept in a separate area so they knew who was cleared to go to the USA (and this was 2016 in Copenhagen). I would not call myself a big supporter of the president, but if everyone gets sick at once, health care will be overwhelmed. We are all going to get this eventually most likely, but by delaying transfer it’ll spread out the cases.

    I can remember days when one kid got chicken pox other parents sent their kid over so they’d get it too, this isn’t like that. You don’t want this and shouldn’t circulate it.

  3. So, apparently, the Virus was introduced to America by Foreigners visiting the USA? He must mean that, as U.S. Citizens can still fly Home from the E.U.
    I wonder what would have been his reaction if the E.U. had at the get-go stopped flights to the U.S.A. so therfore stopping any US Citizens flying Home!

  4. The US citizens or permanent residents won’t Carry or spread the virus, how does Trump know this? It’s important to come home and be with families but being safe is the most important. So why ban only Schengen Zone residents?

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Austria approves changes to the mandatory ‘family passport’ Mutter-Kind-Pass

Pregnant people in Austria receive a 'Mutter-Kind-Pass', a document that will store all the medical information about their pregnancy and their child and is mandatory to receive certain social benefits. Here's what's changing.

Austria approves changes to the mandatory 'family passport' Mutter-Kind-Pass

The Council of Ministers has approved the reform of the mother-child passport (Mutter-Kind-Pass), which was initially introduced in 1974 in Austria.

Starting in January 2024, the preventive care program will be renamed the Eltern-Kind-Pass (Parent-Child Pass). Over the course of the next few years, until 2026, the range of services provided will be expanded to include additional offerings for pregnant women and newborns. Furthermore, a digital version of the pass will be introduced.

The Parents-Child Pass Act is expected to be passed by the National Council in June, the Health Ministry stated in a press release.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about parental leave in Austria

New benefits for families

The reformed parent-child pass will offer new benefits, such as an early health consultation during pregnancy, an optional second consultation with a midwife before childbirth, and parenting advice. Additional screenings for newborns, including hearing tests and ultrasounds, as well as additional laboratory tests and nutrition and health counselling for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and new parents, will also be available.

Johannes Rauch, the Health Minister from the Green Party, praised the parent-child pass as a successful model. He emphasised that the screening examinations would aid in the early detection and timely treatment of medically relevant abnormalities, thus preventing numerous deaths. Furthermore, Rauch highlighted the significance of these benefits for those without access to such examinations otherwise.

Susanne Raab, the Family Minister from the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), highlighted the addition of a new parenting advice service as part of the preventive measures. “We can offer parents and especially women information for decisions when it comes to sharing as partners and increase the participation of fathers”, she said.

READ ALSO: ‘Explore all options’: How can parents in Austria choose the right school?

The digitisation of the screening program will significantly improve the documentation of examination results. This will enable the seamless transfer of findings between attending physicians and midwives through the Electronic Health Record (ELGA), according to the Ministry.

Overall, the government said these reforms aim to enhance the parent-child pass program, offering expanded services, improved documentation, and increased access to information and support for parents and their children.

What is the Mutter-Kind-Pass?

The Mutter-Kind-Pass is a small, yellow passport-style document that plays a vital role in providing and monitoring healthcare for pregnant women and young children in Austria.

Once a doctor confirms a pregnancy, the Mutter-Kind-Pass is issued to the expectant mother. It serves as a comprehensive record of medical examinations throughout the pregnancy and includes health check-ups for the child up to the age of five.

READ ALSO: Ten things you will notice as a parent with a child at school in Austria

The primary purpose of the Mutter-Kind-Pass is to ensure that pregnant women and children receive the necessary medical care they require. Furthermore, it is an essential document for receiving maternity pay in Austria, as the expected delivery date is recorded within it.

Furthermore, presenting proof of examinations recorded in the Mutter-Kind-Pass is essential for receiving the full entitlement to childcare allowance (Kinderbetreuungsgeld). Therefore, carrying the pass to all maternity-related appointments is recommended, as advised by the Österreichische Gesundheitskasse.