May 26, 2020

United States Expands Coronavirus-Related Travel Ban to Include United Kingdom and Ireland

Expanded Travel Ban to Take Effect at 11:59 PM EDT on Monday, March 16

 On Saturday, March 14, President Trump issued a proclamation extending the coronavirus-related travel ban to the United Kingdom (“U.K.”) and Ireland. The expanded travel ban takes effect at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 16, 2020.

For purposes of this travel ban, the U.K. includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, but excludes overseas U.K. territories outside of Europe.

Who Is Subject to the Travel Restrictions?

Many foreign nationals who have been physically present in the U.K. or Ireland during the prior 14 days will be barred from entering the U.S. Travelers to the U.S. from the U.K. or Ireland who are on flights that depart before 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 16 will be permitted to enter the U.S.

Persons Exempt from the Travel Restrictions

The below exempt travelers who have been physically present in the U.K. or Ireland (or in any of the countries already subject to a coronavirus-related travel ban (including the Schengen countries of EuropeChina and Iran) are not subject to the ban. These travelers must enter the U.S. through one of 13 designated airports, undergo enhanced screening, and self-quarantine for 14 days in accordance with Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) best practices.

The following travelers are not subject to the ban, but may be required to undergo screening and other measures (described above) upon arrival:

  • U.S. citizens;

  • U.S. lawful permanent residents;

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents;

  • A foreign national who is the parent or legal guardian of an unmarried U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident under the age of 21;

  • A foreign national who is the sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided they are both under 21;

  • A foreign national who is the child, foster child, or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States on an IR-4 or IH-4 visa;

  • A foreign national traveling at the invitation of the U.S. government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the COVID-19 virus;

  • A foreign air or sea crewmember;

  • Certain A, C, E-1 (TECRO or TECO), G, and NATO nonimmigrants, or nonimmigrants whose travel falls within the scope of section 11 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement;

  • A foreign national whose entry would not pose a risk of transmitting the virus as determined by the CDC;

  • A foreign national whose entry would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives;

  • A foreign national whose entry would be in the national interest; and

  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

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About this Author

Susan J. Cohen, Immigration Attorney, Mintz Law Firm
Member / Founding Chair, Immigration Practice

Susan is a nationally recognized immigration lawyer. As Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, she works with corporate clients to address their immigration challenges. Susan is very active in the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and has contributed to federal and state immigration regulations. She is frequently quoted in the media. She is also an editor of Mintz’s Immigration Law blog and has been recognized as a “Top Author” by JD Supra. Susan helped to lead a Mintz team that worked with the ACLU of Massachusetts and others to obtain a temporary...