By: Daniel Shimell

“Airports, airlines, and travelers face a number of dynamic questions and challenges in the wake of the Trump administration’s abrupt televised announcement that the federal government ‘will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days.’ The announced European travel ban (sometimes the “Ban”) is set forth in a Presidential Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus (the “Proclamation”). As discussed below, the Proclamation provides further detail that was not immediately clear after the President’s brief televised announcement on Wednesday night.

First, as its name suggests, the Proclamation bans the entry or attempted entry into the United States of “all aliens who were physically present within” a defined area of Europe during “the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.” Proclamation § 1 (italics added). Under U.S. immigration laws, the term “alien” means “any person not a citizen or national of the United States.” 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(3). The Ban therefore does not apply to U.S. Citizens who are, or recently have been, physically present in Europe. However, U.S. Citizens who are currently abroad should be aware that they may be subject to other measures, including mandatory self-quarantine upon returning to the United States. Additional information may be found on the CDC’s website.”

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