President Trump Announces Coronavirus Travel Restrictions
By Preston Huennekens | FAIR Take | March 2020
President Trump addressed the nation from the Oval Office on March 11th to announce his administration’s ongoing response to the coronavirus outbreak that is rocking markets and sowing fear in the American public. In his 11-minute address, the President declared that the U.S. would begin restricting foreign entry into the country from continental Europe.
Travel bans and restrictions are effective ways to mitigate the risk posed by communicable diseases such as COVID-19. As the virus spreads throughout the world, travel bans have become an essential first line of defense and buy time for governments to study the disease, research treatments, and manufacture vaccines. In February, President Trump announced travel restrictions on China and on foreign nationals who had visited Wuhan, the city in China where the virus initially arose. Foreign nationals who have visited China in the past two weeks cannot enter the United States. The government also extended this proclamation to include travelers from South Korea and Iran.
The new restrictions on European travelers are largely in response to Italy’s outbreak, currently one of the worst in the world. This new ban bars aliens traveling from Europe to the U.S., but does not restrict the movement of American citizens or legal permanent residents. The ban is only in effect for 30 days and does not include travelers from the United Kingdom, even though the British government acknowledges over 400 cases in the island country.