How will Trump's 30-day European travel ban affect US citizens in Catalonia?

If you're planning to head back home, check out our guide to what we know so far

US President Donald Trump on January 8, 2020 (Reuters)
US President Donald Trump on January 8, 2020 (Reuters) / Cristina Tomàs White

Cristina Tomàs White | Barcelona

March 13, 2020 08:29 PM

On March 11, US president Donald Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation effectively banning travel from Europe's 26 Schengen Area countries, including Spain, for 30 days starting Friday at midnight in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus to US shores.

But what does this mean for those who call the US their home if they're currently abroad? Will they be able to head back? Take a look at our guide to what we know so far:

I am a US citizen/permanent resident – will I be allowed to fly back home?

Yes. The ban applies to non-permanent resident foreign nationals who have been in the Schengen Area 14 days prior to their trip to the United States.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, aside from US citizens, it does not affect "legal permanent residents, (generally) immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation" such as diplomats or travel crewmembers.

You can find more information here, under Section 2 on the scope of the suspension.

Can I fly to the US from any airport in Catalonia or the Schengen Area?

Probably. The ban is on people, rather than on flights from certain countries, meaning that as long as you fall into the categories mentioned above, you should still be able to fly from Barcelona El Prat or any other Schengen Area airport. That said, you may be required to fly to specific airports in the US for medical screening and flights could be pricier than usual if there is a high demand of people trying to fly back on short notice.

Will I be tested for coronavirus if I go to the US?

Possibly. According to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security's acting secretary, Chad F. Wolf, he intends "to issue a supplemental Notice of Arrivals Restriction requiring U.S. passengers that have been in the Schengen Area to travel through select airports where the U.S. Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures."

Will I have to remain in quarantine upon my return?

Yes. The CDC states that travelers from the Schengen Zone plus Monaco, San Marino, and The Vatican must self-isolate for 14 days, monitor their health, and practice social distancing upon arrival. Anyone displaying symptoms consistent with coronavirus is asked to call the emergency services rather than seek medical care in person.


Information on the US Embassy website can be found here.