What Employers need to know about the new DHS Travel Restrictions
How is the Corona virus affecting travel to the U.S.?
According to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) press release, President Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation Wednesday suspending the entry of immigrants and non-immigrants who have been in the Schengen area during the 14 days prior to their planned arrival date in the United States. The Schengen area includes: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. This ban is in addition to the previously announced virus-related ban regarding China and Iran.
The suspension does not apply to U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, and generally, immediate family members of U.S. citizens and other select individuals. However, the DHS Secretary has stated that the department intends to issue a supplemental notice requiring U.S. travelers that have been in the Schengen Area to go through specific airports with Corona virus screening procedures in place.
How should employers react?
Until the Corona virus has been contained, it is best for businesses to halt all non-essential travel in general. Additionally, it is a good idea to not send employees who are on non-immigrant visas to travel for work until the virus is contained and travel bans are no longer in effect. Employers should also provide workers with information regarding the virus if they choose to travel for other purposes.
In the meantime, employers can follow updates on the situation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure the safety of both U.S. based and international personnel.
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The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is general information regarding law and policy that may be applicable to your particular HR issue or legal problem. Information provided in this blog, or any of our other public posts, does not create an attorney-client relationship. For specific advice you can rely upon, please contact your attorney.