U.S., Canada and Europe Coronavirus Response Developments

Mar 17 2020
Published in: Public Policy
| Updated Apr 27 2023
President Trump declared a national emergency over the coronavirus (COVID-19) and expanded travel suspensions to the U.K. and Ireland. Europe, Canada, and other nations implemented stronger containment measures.

On 13 March, President Trump issued a proclamation declaring the coronavirus outbreak a national emergency for the United States. The declaration makes available an additional approximately $40 to $50 billion by the U.S. federal government toward containing the spread of the virus.

 As part of the U.S. containment effort, President Trump had previously announced the suspension of travel to the U.S. for 30 days by foreign nationals who have been recently in a Schengen Zone country of Europe. However, after data on the latest number of COVID-19 cases for the U.K. was released and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Europe the epicenter of the pandemic, on 14 March Trump expanded the suspension to the U.K. and Ireland.

U.S. nationals and permanent residents returning from Europe, China or Iran are now required to travel through one of 13 U.S. airports. Travelers are asked about their medical condition and history and have their temperature taken. All travelers are then asked to self-quarantine for 14 days after reaching their final destination.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced yesterday that Canada will suspend entry to foreign nationals other than U.S. citizens or permanent residents, regardless of nationality. Trudeau is also directing anyone returning from outside the country to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Germany has now suspended border crossings with Austria, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland but not with Belgium and the Netherlands. Commerce is not affected nor is the movement of Germans who work in one of the four countries or nationals from those countries who work in Germany. Spain has implemented a similar suspension.

Last night, French President Emmanuel Macron directed all residents of France to quarantine themselves for 15 days and not travel outside the home unless necessary.

Finally, the European Union has proposed closing its borders for 30 days to foreign nationals except in cases of essential travel. The European Council is scheduled to vote on the proposal today.

How This Impacts Mobility

The coronavirus and efforts to contain its spread are having a profound impact on the movement of people and economically on employers, businesses, and individuals.