International Travel Restrictions
Travel policies and restrictions vary greatly by country and by airline. You will want to consider entry restrictions, bans, and quarantine requirements before planning your international travel. General health and safety considerations issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) should also be reviewed.
IN-BOUND U.S. TRAVEL
TRAVEL BANS INTO THE UNITED STATES:
The COVID-19 related travel restrictions that we discussed in our prior client alerts including the entry bans on individuals who have been in the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, Ireland, China, and Iran within 14 days of travel to the United States as well as the closure of the U.S.-Canada land border except for essential travel are still in place as of May 26, 2020. As of May 26, 2020 at 11:59 PM EDT, the United States is expanding its travel plan to include Brazil. Anyone who has physically been in Brazil within 14 days of planned entry into the United States will not be permitted to enter the country. Please note that the bans on travel from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, Ireland, China, Iran, and Brazil do not apply to U.S. citizens; U.S. lawful permanent residents; or spouses, minor children under age 21, or certain other family members of U.S. citizens or U.S. lawful permanent residents. There are also limited other exemptions that are available to such individuals as crew members, certain government employees, and people who are traveling to the United States in order to assist with the country with such matters as national security or the eradication of COVID-19.
You can find a complete list of exemptions to these travel bans on the White House’s website at the links, below:
There is currently no end-date to these restrictions.
For further information on in-bound U.S. travel to the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact your attorney at McCown & Evans LLP.
When planning international travel from the United States, we recommend checking the COVID-19 related entry bans and quarantine requirements for each country. You can find this information on the website of various consular posts and ministries of foreign affairs. In addition, U.S. citizens and permanent residents are encouraged to review U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories. U.S. consular posts also provide useful information on local country conditions. All U.S. citizens planning international travel should consider enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
We have included links to COVID-19 travel guidance resources for the common travel destinations below:
Schengen Area Countries:
The Schengen Area comprises 26 countries in Europe that share a common visa policy. In normal times, it is possible for a visitor to travel through this area without passing through border controls and remain in the area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Temporary border controls have been introduced between Schengen Area countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find an overview of these temporary border controls on the European Commission’s website, here. The following are COVID-19 travel advisory information links for Schengen Area Countries:
Denmark (excluding Greenland and Faroe Islands)
France (excluding overseas departments)
It is also helpful to review the rules of your specific airline as most airlines are maintaining a detailed web page outlining their policies and procedures. Here are just a few:
CBP DEFERMENT OF STAY FOR ESTA ENTRANTS:
CBP has provided some flexibility to Visa Waiver Program (ESTA) entrants. CBP announced on April 17, 2020 that Visa Waiver Program travelers who have been granted satisfactory departure may now apply for an additional 30-day extension of their admission period if they remain unable to depart the United States because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). These travelers may apply for the additional satisfactory departure period by contacting: (1) any local CBP Port of Entry or Deferred Inspection Site; or (2) the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Contact Center. Travelers should be prepared to provide their passport number when submitting their request.
Please contact your attorney at McCown & Evans LLP for tailored guidance on outbound international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.