Coronavirus (COVID-19): US Admissions from Europe’s Schengen Area Suspended for 30 Days

March 12, 2020

In an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), US President Donald Trump announced on March 11 that entry into the United States has been suspended for all individuals who were physically present in the Schengen area—comprising 26 European states—during the 14-day period preceding their anticipated entry into the country. This travel restriction, which is slated to remain in place for an initial 30-day period, will take effect at 11:59 pm ET on March 13. Passengers on flights that departed prior to this date and time will not be subject to the suspension. The suspension will be applied at all US ports of entry, including land and sea ports.

For purposes of the travel restriction, the Schengen area includes the following countries: 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.

Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, and the United Kingdom are not part of the Schengen area and therefore are not subject to the travel restriction. Citizens of any nation, even a Schengen nation, who have not traveled to any of the 26 implicated countries during the past 14 days should not be impacted. For example, an Italian national who has been in the United Kingdom for the past 14 days would be able to enter the United States. Conversely, a UK citizen who has been in Italy during the past 14 days would not be able to enter the country.

Classes Exempted from the Travel Restriction

The following classes of individuals are not subject to the suspension:

  1. US citizens
  2. US green card holders (permanent residents)
  3. Spouses of US citizens and green card holders
  4. Parents and legal guardians of US citizens and green card holders (as long as the US citizen or green card holder is under the age of 21 and unmarried)
  5. Siblings of US citizens and green card holders (as long as both are under the age of 21 and unmarried)
  6. Children, foster children, wards, or prospective adoptees of US citizens and green card holders
  7. Individuals invited to the United States by the government for purposes of containing or mitigating COVID-19
  8. Nonimmigrant crew members
  9. Various foreign government, NATO, and United Nations officials and qualifying immediate family members
  10. Members of the US Armed Forces and their spouses and children

The administration has clarified that all exempt categories of individuals will be properly screened for COVID-19 prior to US admission.

Other US Local and International Rules to Consider

Individuals traveling to the United States should check local rules and take appropriate measures as required. New York has implemented new screening rules for passengers arriving at or departing from New York City. Travelers returning to the state with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be required to self-quarantine. Meanwhile, Sacramento County has lifted its automatic 14-day quarantine as of March 10 and directed residents to go into isolation if they become symptomatic. The suspension of entry to the United States for all aliens physically present within the People’s Republic of China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) and Iran during the 14-day period preceding their entry into the United States remains in effect.

How We Can Help

For additional government-related guidance or advice on how the temporary European travel ban or other travel restrictions could affect you or your business, visit our Washington strategic government relations and counseling practice.


If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this alert, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:

Washington, DC
Shannon A. Donnelly
Eleanor Pelta
Eric S. Bord

Laura C. Garvin