WTTC: Ban on European Visitors to U.S. Won’t Stop Coronavirus

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The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) says the European travel ban imposed by the United States won’t stop the spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus), while additionally having a damaging impact on the U.S. economy.

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday a ban on visitors from 26 European countries known as the Schengen Area, which is due to come into effect on Friday, March 13. It is estimated that 850,000 visitors from Europe, excluding the U.K. and Ireland, would normally travel during the next 30 days to the United States. These visitors would have spent an estimated $3.4 billion while travelling in the US.

Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of the WTTC, said in a statement: “Coronavirus is already in the United States and, sadly, patients are already passing away as a result. We all share the priority to stop the spread and should take all necessary actions. However, the new travel ban will have a dangerous economic impact on the U.S. and many other countries, and there is little evidence to show this will stop the spread of COVID-19. 

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“Rather than an outright ban, the priority should be on public health within the country and mitigating the potential harm to individuals that will be impacted by this ban. The virus is already a pandemic and is spreading within communities domestically. The best approach is to conduct thorough testing and put in place isolation measures, which are highly effective, as has been seen in other countries.”

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