Strict health guidelines, including travel restrictions, have resulted from the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic in America. On March 13, President Donald Trump established a European travel ban, also known as “Proclamation 9984 (Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus and Other Appropriate Measures To Address This Risk)”₁. This travel ban specifically applies to all countries belonging in the Schengen Area. The Schengen Area is comprised of 26 European 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.₂
What exactly does the European travel ban entail? With few exceptions, this order denies foreign nationals the right to enter the U.S. if they had been present in any of the Schengen Zone countries in the previous two weeks. Immigrants and nonimmigrants alike, who were physically present in the Schengen Area up to 14 days before attempting to enter into the U.S., were deferred with limited deviations. The European travel ban strictly prohibited foreign nationals from stepping foot onto American soil, however, U.S. citizens were not restricted in the same ways.
The Schengen Zone travel ban greatly impacts employers in the U.S. who have employees working for them that are foreign, and therefore affected by the order. Employers have been forced to pull strings together with their foreign hires, attempting to make arrangements that could include immediate travel back to America, or possibly alternative immigration options. The travel ban issued by President Trump raises questions in regard to what appears to be a ban explicitly targeting foreign nationals. This order has taken a toll on a handful of U.S. employers and individual foreign employees. The ban is to remain in effect until President Trump decides to terminate it.
- Trump, Donald J. “Proclamation-Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus.” The White House, The United States Government, 2020, www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-certain-additional-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/.
- “Schengen Area – Visa Information for Schengen Countries.” SchengenVisaInfo.com, 3 Aug. 2020, www.schengenvisainfo.com/schengen-visa-countries-list/.