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Coronavirus: The French Banned from Entering the United States

Donald Trump made a shock announcement yesterday evening, declaring that Europeans would be forbidden from travelling to the U.S. from Friday, March 13, due to the corona virus pandemic. The French are now preparing for an organizational nightmare and are worried about the economic consequences, particularly in the tourism sector.

This measure applies to anyone who has been to the Schengen Area during the last fourteen days before their arrival in the United States, aside from American citizens and permanent residents (green-card holders). The ban will come into force on Friday, March 13, at midnight EST.

“The European Union has failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel to China and other infection sites,” said the POTUS, half accusing Europe of being responsible for the spread of a “foreign virus” in the United States. The European Commission has heavily criticized Trump’s position.

“Donald Trump is trying to divert attention away from his attempts to stem the spread of the virus in America by finding a scapegoat,” says Roland Lescure, the representative for French citizens living in North America, in an interview with France Info. “It’s going to be an organizational nightmare. There will be planes flying half empty with untested Americans, whereas the French travelers who have been tested will not be allowed on. It will also have major economic consequences for the tourism industry.”

French travel agencies are already describing the situation as a “catastrophe.” The United States is one of the leading tourist destinations for the French — without counting business trips, academic exchanges, and conferences. The Paris-New York line alone offers 5,000 seats every day going both ways, the equivalent of two million passengers every year.

Air traffic in France has already dropped 20% since the start of March. Air France is in a “state of economic emergency,” according to its CEO, and more fragile airlines are in danger of going bankrupt. “Our economic, social, political, and daily lives will not just stop because of the spread of the virus,” said Richard Ferrand the president of France’s National Assembly.

The French embassy in Washington is telling expats about a toll-free number introduced by the French Regional Health Agency: 0 800 130 000 (free, accessible 24/7, in French).

  • J’ai une amie qui arrivera à Vancouver (Canada) le 8 avril. Le 10 elle traversera la frontière américaine à Seattle pour faire un “road trip” avec moi jusqu’à San Francisco. Elle repartira en France le 23 avril. Doit-elle prévoir de tout annuler ?
    Merci si vous avez une réponse à ma question.

  • Je pense que ton amie devrait annuler. La douane américaine va s’apercevoir que la provenance est l’Europe pendant le travel ban et donc elle ne pourra pas entrer sur le sol américain…

  • Perhaps you have already seen this: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-recommends-against-all-non-essential-travel-outside-of-canada-as-7-new-cases-of-covid-19-detected-1.5495811 If it was me, I would advise your friend to reschedule this trip. Alternatively you might consider a Canadian road trip, rather than one that crosses into the U.S. Of course the situation is very dynamic and could change before then. Best to track postings from French, Canadian, and U.S. government offices.

  • Merci Franck pour ces liens du Consulat de France à Los Angeles.

    Ca y est, ce matin j’ai tout annulé : billet d’avion SFO-YVR, location de voiture + assurances à Seattle et deux hôtels (Vancouver et Lewiston, Idaho) le tout fait avec Expedia.com. J’ai imprimé les annulations et me suis assurée sur le site d’Expedia.com “My Trips” et oui, tout est annulé. Ce ne sera que partie remise. Je serai remboursée à 100%.

    Un(e) autre lecteur (lectrice ?) a suggeré un “road-trip” côté canadien mais il y a toujours la possibilité que le Canada suive l’exemple des Etats-Unis.

    Merci encore !

    • Excellente nouvelle pour votre remboursement ! Concernant le voyage de votre amie vers le Canada, aucune restriction n’a été annoncée pour le moment, mais peut-être est-ce mieux de faire preuve de prudence.

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