State Department Tightens COVID-19 Travel Restrictions for Schengen Area, UK and Ireland

On March 2, 2021, the Department of State rescinded the previous national interest determination regarding categories of travelers eligible for exceptions under Presidential Proclamation 10143 as related to the Schengen Area, United Kingdom and Ireland. The previous national interest determination covered certain technical experts and specialists, senior-level managers and executives, treaty-traders and investors, professional athletes and their dependents.

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Continued Exceptions for Certain International Students and Academics Confirmed by Biden Administration

With a month in office, the Biden Administration is taking steps to reveal its COVID-19 policy approach to international students and academics. On January 25, 2021, the President announced Proclamation #10143, which extended the previous administration’s limitation on travel to the U.S. from the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. On February 10, 2021, the Department of State confirmed that national interest exceptions (NIE) to the travel ban, first issued in October 2020, will remain in place in the new administration.

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State Department Confirms Certain Exemptions on European Travel Ban

Following steps taken last year to limit travel from Europe to the United States, the Department of State confirmed on February 10, 2021, that certain travelers from the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom and Ireland can continue to qualify for national interest exceptions under the existing presidential proclamations restricting travel from these places.

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As Nations Around the World Impose Entry Restrictions, U.S. Expands Entry Ban to Europe’s Schengen Area

Following the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration that classified the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, a number of governments have instituted or announced measures limiting international travel. In the most notable of the new restrictions, the United States has announced that it is suspending all travel from Europe’s Schengen Area for 30 days beginning at midnight on Friday, March 13. This measure would expand existing travel restrictions in place for arrivals from mainland China and Iran.

The restrictions do not apply to U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents or their immediate families as well as holders of some categories of U.S. visas (such as A-1, A-2, C-1, D or C-1/D, C-2, C-3, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4 and NATO visas). The Schengen Area is a 26-country group that has officially abolished border control among themselves.

Globally, it is unknown if other governments will follow suit after the announcement from the White House.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.