On March 11, 2020, President Trump signed a Proclamation—Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The Proclamation suspends and limits 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 except for:
- lawful permanent residents (LPR) and their spouses and spouses of US citizens (USC);
- parents and legal guardians of USC or LPR under 21;
- siblings of USC or LPR provided both are unmarried and under 21;
- certain children, wards, foster children or prospective adoptee;
- any alien traveling at the invitation of the United States Government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus;
- any alien 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 alien with listed visa types and those falling within sec. 11 of the UN HQ agreement;
- members of the armed forces, their spouses and children;
- any alien whose entry would not pose a significant risk of introducing, transmitting, or spreading the virus, as determined by the CDC Director or designee;
- aliens whose entry would further law enforcement interest or be in the national interest based on certain recommendations or determinations.
Consistent with applicable law, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Transportation, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall ensure that any alien subject to this proclamation does not board an aircraft traveling to the United States.
The proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 13, 2020. This proclamation does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 13, 2020. The action is being taken because the World Health Organization has determined that multiple countries within the Schengen Area are experiencing sustained person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2. For purposes of this proclamation, the Schengen Area comprises 26 European states: 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. The Schengen Area currently has the largest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases outside of the People’s Republic of China. As of March 11, 2020, the number of cases in the 26 Schengen Area countries is 17,442, with 711 deaths, and shows high continuous growth in infection rates. In total, as of March 9, 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. The President indicated that the restriction will not apply to the United Kingdom.
The proclamation only applies to individuals and does not affect trade. It states, “The free flow of commerce between the United States and the Schengen Area countries remains an economic priority for the United States, and I remain committed to facilitating trade between our nations.”