Explaining the European Travel Ban

Which countries does the ban apply to?

According to the US Department for Homeland Security (DHS) and the president’s proclamation, the ban applies to the countries belonging to the 26-member Schengen passport-free zone.

These are:
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.

As non-members of Schengen, Britain, and Ireland are not covered by the ban.

Who is affected?

The restrictions will cover “most foreign nationals” who have been in any of the Schengen zone countries “at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the US”, the DHS says.

The ban does not apply to US citizens returning home, nor to foreign nationals who are legal permanent residents of the US. Also exempted are foreign nationals who are:

  • married to US citizens or legal permanent residents
  • parents and guardians of US citizens or legal permanent residents aged under 21
  • brothers and sisters of US citizens or legal permanent residents, providing both are unmarried and under 21
  • children or foster children of US citizens or legal permanent residents

It also does not apply to ship and plane crews; foreign nationals invited to the US to help tackle the virus; foreign government officials and their immediate family; and foreign nationals who work for the US armed forces, international organizations including Nato and the UN, or whose entry “is deemed in the national interest”.



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