Frequently Asked Questions from U.S. Citizens regarding Presidential Proclamations on Travel to Europe

Following the March 11 and March 14 Presidential Proclamations on the Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus, the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs has developed the following FAQ for American Citizens:

FAQs – Travel from Europe

1.      Q: I am a U.S. citizen in Europe. Do the March 11 and March 14 Presidential Proclamations prevent me from returning to the United States?

A: No. The restrictions do not apply to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. For the most current information regarding COVID-19, the March 11 and March 14 Presidential Proclamations and their impact on travel to the United States, please visit www.coronavirus.gov, www.dhs.gov/coronavirus and www.whitehouse.gov/.

2.      Q:  Are the United Kingdom and Ireland included in the new proclamation?  When is it effective?

A:  The new proclamation applies to the United Kingdom and Ireland.  It is effective at 11:59PM eastern daylight time on March 16, 2020.  This proclamation does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 16, 2020.

3.      Q:  Is the Presidential Proclamation regarding travel from the Schengen Area already effective?  When did that happen?

A:  Yes.  The March 11 Presidential Proclamation went into effect at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 13, 2020.

4.      Q:  What countries are part of the Schengen Area?

A: For purposes of this proclamation, the Schengen Area comprises 26 European states: 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.

5.      Q: I am a U.S. citizen transiting through an airport located in the United Kingdom, Ireland and/or a Schengen country. Will I be prevented from traveling to the United States?

A: No. The restrictions do not apply to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. For the most current information regarding COVID-19, the March 11 and March 14 Presidential Proclamations, and its impact on travel to the United States, please visit https://www.dhs.gov/coronavirus and www.whitehouse.gov/.

6.      Q: When re-entering the United States from the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Schengen Area, am I required to travel through particular airports or undergo enhanced screening? What are those airports and what screening can I expect?

A:  CDC requires all travelers, including U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, who have been in the Schengen Area, or any CDC Level 3 country, in the last 14 days to self-quarantine for 14 days.  Travelers should visit www.coronavirus.gov for more information.  The Department of Homeland Security will route travel through particular airports and passengers will undergo enhanced airport screening.

7.      Q: What will the State Department do to assist U.S. citizens leaving Europe in light of the President’s announcement?

A:  U.S. citizens should make plans using commercial travel options, which remain  available.  For further information visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/emergencies/what-state-dept-can-cant-do-crisis.html.  Also enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and notifications from U.S. embassies and consulates.

8.      Q: I am a U.S. citizen, but my immediate relative is not. Can they travel to the United States?

A: The restrictions do not apply to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and some family members of U.S. citizens, including any prospective adoptee who is seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications. For further information about the exceptions and the most current information regarding COVID-19, the March 11 and March 14 Presidential Proclamations, and its impact on travel to the United States, please visit www.coronavirus.gov, www.dhs.gov/coronavirus and www.whitehouse.gov/.

9.      Q: I am a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) in Europe. Do the March 11 and March 14 Presidential Proclamations prevent me from returning to the United States?

A: No. The restrictions do not apply to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. For the most current information regarding COVID-19, the Presidential Proclamations, and their impact on travel to the United States, please visit www.coronavirus.gov, www.dhs.gov/coronavirus and www.whitehouse.gov/.

10.  Q: I am in a country where my airline just cancelled my flight. What do I do?

A: Travelers who wish to return to the United States should continue to work with the airlines for return travel arrangements.

11.  Q: I have an upcoming flight booked to the United Kingdom, Ireland and/or a country in the Schengen Area. Should I go?

A: The State Department advises U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19. Please visit www.travel.state.gov for further travel information, and find the State Department’s latest updates on COVID-19 here. The CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to specified countries in Europe. Please visit www.coronavirus.gov for additional information.

12.  Q: Where can I find specific information about the COVID-19 situation and any additional restrictions in a particular country overseas?

A: Please visit our Embassy webpages on COVID-19 for information on conditions in each country or jurisdiction.   Many embassies have further information on travel restrictions, quarantine policies, and other general suspensions (schools, large gatherings, etc.).  You may also visit www.coronavirus.gov for more information.

13.  Q: What U.S. airports can I expect to arrive at from the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Schengen countries?

A: Please visit the Department of Homeland Security at https://www.dhs.gov/ for updated information.  DHS has a fact sheet that will be updated as the March 14 Proclamation on the United Kingdom and Ireland takes effect.

14.  Q: Where can I find information on the process of returning to the United States from the Schengen area?  What screening can I expect upon arrival?

A: Please visit www.dhs.gov and www.coronavirus.gov for more information.

15.  Q: I arrived from the United Kingdom, Ireland and/or a Schengen country a few days before the Presidential Proclamations were enacted.  Do I need to self-quarantine?

A: Please refer to the CDC’s travel information website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.