The Trump administration’s new restrictions banning travel from 26 European countries could cost the US travel industry billions of dollars, according to the US Travel Association.
The 30-day suspension, which begins Friday at midnight, marks a sharp escalation of measures taken to insulate Americans from the coronavirus outbreak.
“Temporarily shutting off travel from Europe is going to exacerbate the already-heavy impact of coronavirus on the travel industry and the 15.7 million Americans whose jobs depend on travel,” said US Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow in a statement today.
The travel restriction extends to countries in the Schengen zone, which includes Italy, Germany, France, Spain and 22 other nations. The United Kingdom is not included.
Why this will hit hard: Thousands of Europeans visit America every month — and during that time, they spend a lot of money.
About 850,000 international visitors flying from Europe — excluding the United Kingdom — entered the United States in March 2019, accounting for about 29% of total overseas arrivals to the country, according to US Travel Association economists. Those visitors spent some $3.4 billion in the United States.
US citizens and permanent residents who are in Europe will still be allowed back into the United States during the 30-day period, though will be screened upon entry and face quarantine or restrictions on their movement.
Even so, it remains unclear whether airlines will still fly the routes if passenger demand from European nationals dries up because of the ban.