Trump Europe’s travel ban will not apply to Americans trying to return home
President Donald Trump’s decision on Wednesday to impose a 30-day ban on most Europeans from entering the United States is the latest astonishing setback for an airline industry reeling from declining bookings and an increase in the number of people canceling reservations for fear of contracting the coronavirus.
The ban, which begins at midnight on Friday, will not apply to Americans trying to return home – despite undergoing an “enhanced” health check – or to citizens of the United Kingdom.
In his Oval Office address, Trump said US restrictions on people coming from China and other countries with early COVID-19 outbreaks have reduced the number of cases in the United States compared to Europe. He criticized the European Union for not immediately stopping travel from China “and other hot spots” which he said had led to clusters of epidemics in the United States “sown by travelers from Europe “.
The ban will not apply to lawful permanent residents of the United States or immediate relatives of United States citizens. This category of people will be detailed in an official proclamation, officials said.
Meanwhile, the State Department has advised all Americans to “reconsider overseas travel” due to the pandemic.
Airlines and aircraft manufacturers struggling amid pandemic
Airlines have cut their flight schedules, especially on international routes, to cope with a sharp drop in travel demand among fearful customers. Business travel is slowing as companies impose restrictions on employee travel and major conferences are canceled.
Shares of major U.S. airlines have fallen in recent weeks, and an industry trade group has warned airlines around the world could lose up to $ 113 billion in revenue due to the virus – multiple times the damage caused by the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. Airlines and American Airlines have lost more than a third of their value since February 21. Delta shares fell more than 25%. Shares of aircraft maker Boeing fell 43% during this period.
It’s not just US and European airlines that are feeling the pain. Travel restrictions in Asia weigh heavily on airlines in that region. Cathay Pacific Airways on Wednesday warned it would face a “substantial loss” in the first half of this year. The Hong Kong-based airline canceled 90% of its flight capacity to the mainland in early February after Beijing told the public to avoid travel as part of efforts to contain the outbreak centered on the city of Wuhan .
With the fall in air travel and airline revenues, airlines are losing their appetite for new planes. Boeing’s stock fell 18% on Wednesday – its biggest single-day percentage drop since 1974 – and the iconic aircraft maker announced a hiring freeze.
Trump’s Homeland Security Secretary has acknowledged that the ban would further disrupt the airline industry.
“While these new travel restrictions will be confusing to some travelers, this decisive action is needed to protect the American public from further exposure to the potentially deadly coronavirus,” DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said in a shortly release statement. after the president’s speech.
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Avoid close contact with sick people.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
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Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the toilet; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
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