Trump's travel ban: Self-quarantine to subsidized airfare, things to remember as coronavirus sparks mayhem

POTUS on Wednesday announced travel ban from potentially affected Schengen countries for upto thirty days, effective from midnight, March 13


                            Trump's travel ban: Self-quarantine to subsidized airfare, things to remember as coronavirus sparks mayhem
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The coronavirus outbreak has slowly intensified in the U.S, causing despair and panic among people. The number of confirmed cases have now reached 1,747 with 41 reported deaths, as of March 13. America is now facing several regulatory measures that have mandated work-from-home and limited recreational activities. Schools, universities, theme parks, movie theatres, film and television production, music festivals, award shows, and sports events have either been canceled, rescheduled or digitalized.

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Even the transport industry has taken a direct hit, due to the public mentality of traveling in a situation like this, which can make people more susceptible to contracting the virus.

With an aim to tackle the increasing number of cases and keep the COVID-19 virus at bay, US President Donald Trump, on March 12, announced that the government would instate a trans-Atlantic travel ban as a precautionary measure. The announcement has given birth to a lot of mayhem in the meantime. He said, there would be a thirty-day ban on travel to the US from Europe, sending shockwaves, especially through the Schengen countries.

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“To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States,” Trump said on Wednesday, before dishing out details on the plummeting U.S economy that is taking a hit due to the virus.

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The EU, in an official statement, condemned the U.S for their irrational move and disapproved of the decision that was made "unilaterally and without consultation".

Trump's announcement, however, caused chaos in the travel industry and among US allies. The President hadn't conferred with them before taking this drastic step to combat the outbreak and is bound to negatively impact the economy, further.

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Here are answers to some questions about the US' newly instated travel ban.

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What exactly does the travel ban entail?

Trump had previously banned travel between the U.S and China, in an attempt to avert the virus crisis. The new rule adds to it, suspending  26 European countries of the Schengen free-travel area from entering the US namely Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

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However, the ban exempts the UK, Ireland and non-Schengen nations such as Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Turkey, and Ukraine. The new rule becomes effective on Friday at midnight EDT. It will not, however, affect trade and restrict the import of goods. The reason for the Schengen ban, The White House said, is because, the affected nation's combined cases of 17, 400  with 711 deaths, are second in line after China.

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If I'm a US citizen, does it affect me?

Only foreign nationals who've spent fourteen days or more in any of the 26 Schengen nations will be prohibited entry onto U.S soil. The travel ban doesn't necessarily apply to Americans and permanent US residents or passport holders. People returning from overseas travel in Europe will be channeled through 13 different airports and shall go through medical screening at immigration, said Vice-President Mike Pence.

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They will have to go through mandatory 14-day self-isolation. Transit flights will be redirected through non-affected countries.

Although Pence hasn't named the airports, an advisory to American Airlines, listing eleven airports namely Atlanta Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, Honolulu's Daniel K Inouye International Airport, New York JFK, Los Angeles, International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, and Washington-Dulles International Airport has been floated.

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Trump said those Americans affected by COVID-19 and tested positive will not be allowed into the country and will be quarantined immediately. The US State Department also issued a Global Health Advisory to reconsider travel.

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Would insurance cover my medical costs?

Trump said that he has managed to persuade health insurance providers to waive copayments with regard to coronavirus tests. Although, it would still apply to the treatment costs for the viral disease.

Will my flight reimburse my ticket?

American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines have announced that they will lower the fairs for all flights that are US-bound from Europe. Delta has also said it will forgo ticket change fees for passengers traveling to or from Europe and the UK until May 31.

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