Coronavirus Update: Germany Closes Borders, Long Lines at U.S. Airports for Returning Travelers

By Anna Breuer on 15 March 2020
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Approaching the German border from Austria


What a difference a week makes.  The United States ended the week with a profoundly different mood: there were no religious services on Saturday and Sunday in many synagogues and churches, although some opted for an online substitution.  There are no sports matches in stadiums or arenas, and no Broadway shows to go to.


Health officials across the globe counted at least 162,651 confirmed cases of the novel corona virus, with a global death toll of 6,069.  China only reported 25 new cases and ten new deaths.

In the United States, there are at least 3,000 confirmed cases of the virus in 49 states, with 140 new cases.

Spain reported the highest number of new cases, 1,362, bringing the total there to 7,753, while Iran, Switzerland, and Germany reported 1,209, 842, and 827 new cases respectively, bringing the totals there to 13,938, 2,217, and 5,426.



03-15 German announced it would close its borders with Austria, France, and Switzerland effective Monday morning, according to German media reports.  Commuters and transporters of goods will still be allowed in.

03-15 The U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a warning about travel to the United States. “The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the whole country,” it said in a statement.

03-15 Norway closed its borders to all foreign nationals not residing in the country, effective Monday.  Denmark said it would bar foreigners whose visit would not be for an “essential purpose”, and Poland closed its borders to non-citizens.

03-15 Guatemala is barring U.S. and Canadian citizens effective immediately,

03-15 Spain went into lockdown mode, telling residents to confine themselves ot their homes and leave only to go to work, purchase food, assist others in need, or go to work. Meanwhile, France ordered that all “non-indispensable” businesses, a list that includes restaurants, cafes, and movie theaters, remain closed. The government there also said it would begin to scale down long-distance travel such as via train or plane within the country.

03-14 American Airlines said it would gradually suspend all long-haul international flights across the period March 16 through May 6.  The changes will cause the airline to park almost its entire wide-body fleet, which includes Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

03-14 Travelers returning to the United States faced long lines at customs and immigration due to the enhanced health screenings and a crush of people returning to the country due to the expansion of the list of countries covered in the travel ban.

03-14 President Trump extended the current travel ban to include the United Kingdom and Ireland. The Trump Administration had originally excluded the two countries from the ban, which covers just 26 countries in the Schengen Area up until now.

03-14 Austria went into lockdown mode as it tried to stave off the spread of the new coronavirus. “Everything that isn’t necessary shouldn’t take place,” said the Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

03-14 Germany urged people who were returning from countries with significant outbreaks of the coronavirus to self-isolate for 14 days to help slow the virus’ spread.

03-13 Apple closed all of its stores outside of China for two weeks, citing the coronavirus.

03-13 Delta Air Lines said it would reduce system-wide capacity by as much as 40% given the drop in demand due to Covid-19.

03-13 Media reports indicate that discount Canadian carrier WestJet could lay off as much as half of its staff.

03-13 President Trump said that four major cruise lines that operate in the United States suspended outbound voyages as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

03-13 Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen had cancel public engagements in Cheshire and London in the coming week “as a sensible precaution.”

03-13 The Premier League, Football League, Women’s Super League, and Scottish Premier League cancelled football matches through at least April 3.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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