Travel bans

By | Category: Travel rumblings

The decision by the US to ban travel to the US from citizens living in the Schengen area of nations has left medical experts saying that a virus knows no borders.

Will fewer of us travel to the USA even though the UK and Ireland are excluded from the ban?

The UK, Ireland, Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia are all exempt – I presume – as none are members of the Schengen area.

Those domiciled in the US will be able to fly in and out but not non-US nationals. But what about Britons who connect via KLM in Amsterdam or via Air France in Paris or Lufthansa in Frankfurt? Under that scenario, you won’t be allowed into the USA. It appears only direct flights from UK and Irish airports will be allowed.

The EU and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has been quick to criticise the American decision. The CTO issued a statement saying, “The CTO would like to emphasise that the World Health Organization (WHO) has not called for any travel and trade restrictions as a result of the coronavirus. As a matter of fact, the WHO continues to advise against such restrictions.”

Whether the medical authorities are right in their assessment of whether lock-downs and travel bans are working is a little immaterial.


Because the mere announcement of travel bans makes people outside the areas impacted think that if one country, particularly as important an economic force as the USA, is doing it, they think that they shouldn’t travel. Even if they were thinking of travelling and have no problems doing so the thought lingers in their mind that they might not be able to return home.

Consequently, fewer people travel so travel bans do work but not quite in the way intended.

The knock-on effect can already be seen.

With both the US State Department and the Canadian government advising against people taking a cruise, Princess Cruises has cancelled all cruises by its eighteen ships for two months and Viking Cruises – one of the biggest advertiser on television – has suspended all of its cruises until May Day.

Before long there might be an international travel ban but it will be one resulting from an inability by passengers to find a mode of travel that is still working.

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