Late Wednesday, March 11, President Donald Trump issued a proclamation that prohibits foreign nationals from entering the United States if they have been physically present in the Schengen Area within 14 days before their attempted entry, with exceptions. The proclamation takes effect at 11:59 pm EDT on Friday, March 13, and will remain in effect until terminated by the President.
The Schengen Area comprises 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.
Exceptions to the Travel Restrictions
Travelers who have been present in the Schengen Area will be permitted to enter the United States if they are on flights that depart before 11:59 pm EDT on March 13.
The following travelers are not subject to the ban, but may be required to undergo screening and other measures upon arrival:
- U.S. citizens;
- U.S. lawful permanent residents;
- Spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents;
- A foreign national who is the parent or legal guardian of an unmarried U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident under the age of 21;
- A foreign national who is the sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided they are both under 21;
- A foreign national who is the child, foster child or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States on an IR-4 or IH-4 visa;
- A foreign national traveling at the invitation of the U.S. government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the COVID-19 virus;
- A foreign air or sea crewmember;
- Certain A, C, E-1 (TECRO or TECO), G, and NATO nonimmigrants;
- A foreign national whose entry would not pose a risk of transmitting the virus as determined by the CDC;
- A foreign national whose entry would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives;
- A foreign national whose entry would be in the national interest; and
- Members of the U.S. armed forces and their spouses and children.
What Employers Should Do Now
With less than 48 hours remaining before the travel restrictions take effect, your organization should work quickly to identify foreign employees who are affected by the ban and contact your designated legal professionals to begin making arrangements, which could include urgent travel back to the United States, if possible, or alternative immigration options.
The U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security are expected to issue further information about the implementation of the travel ban, which may affect the options available to employees subject to the restrictions.