- Title: Airline passengers from Europe rush to US to beat looming travel restrictions
- Date: 12th March 2020
- Summary: DULLES, VIRGINIA (MARCH 12, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PASSENGERS ARRIVING, SOME WEARING MASKS (SOUNDBITE) (English) DUTCH CITIZEN ARRIVING FROM AMSTERDAM, ROMINA VOS, SAYING: "I think that unfortunately, these restrictions are very necessary, because we can see, when we were in Europe, how quickly it was spreading out. At first they thought it was not going to be a big deal, and then suddenly Italy had thousands of people who were sick. So, I understand that is not what we want, we live in a free world or at least in the United States and Europe. So we would like to continue like that, but I am telling you, these restrictions are necessary." (SOUNDBITE) (English) DUTCH CITIZEN ARRIVING FROM AMSTERDAM, LOUIS VOS, SAYING: "No, just some people on the plane wore masks, some of the airline staff, and it was quiet. We expected that. I think Amsterdam is normally very busy, it's about half as many people as normal." U.S. STUDENTS WHO WERE ON SPRING BREAK IN EUROPE ARRIVING (SOUNDBITE) (English) VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT FROM THE UNITED STATES WHO WAS ON SPRING BREAK IN EUROPE, HAVISHA ANNAMREDDY, SAYING: "Essentially, we went to Amsterdam last week and spent a couple of days in Belgium. We arrived back Wednesday night to Amsterdam, had a good dinner, went to sleep, woken up at 2:00 a.m. that there was a ban. So we panicked and half of us went to the airport trying to stand on the American Airlines line, our friend's dad immediately like started trying to look for tickets. Everyone's parents were really panicking. We didn't even like check out of the hotel, we have wet clothes in some of our bags." (SOUNDBITE) (English) VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT FROM THE UNITED STATES WHO WAS ON SPRING BREAK IN EUROPE, KAYLEIGH STEVENSON, SAYING: "I think just being kind of aware of the situation around me, like if people are coughing a little bit more like not covering their mouths, maybe like standing somewhere else or like she said, getting hand sanitizer as much as possible and just being a little more conscientious. We did see the face masks, but we also read articles about how like hospitals are running out of them. So we don't want to take away from anybody who really needed them." STUDENTS WALKING AWAY WOMAN WALKING WITH SUITCASE (SOUNDBITE) (English) TRAVELER FROM SWEDEN, NICOLINA LINDBLAD, SAYING: "It won't be good, so I can understand where it comes from. But as a person, I'm traveling, I was supposed to travel back to Sweden next week for my baby niece's christening and all that. So, I mean, it's not great for me personally, but I understand the reasoning for it." WELCOME HOME BALLOON FAMILY WEARING MASKS HUGGING PEOPLE EXITING CUSTOMS WEARING MASKS WOMAN WEARING MASK WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO ARRIVE COUPLE EXITING CUSTOMS WEARING MASKS FLIGHT CREW WALKING AWAY
- Keywords: Europe Trump US President Donald Trump airline airport coronavirus passengers travel restrictions travellers
- Reuters ID: LVA001C4R0V2F
- Location: DULLES, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES
- City: DULLES, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:03:50
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: Dozens of travelers from Europe arrived at Dulles International Airport near Washington on Thursday (March 12), a day after U.S. President Donald Trump announced sweeping restrictions on travel from the continent as he responded to mounting pressure to take action against the spread of the coronavirus.
Trump restricted certain travel from Europe for 30 days to the United States in a televised address on Wednesday (March 11), and on Thursday, weary and confused travelers rushed to airports to board the last flights back to the U.S.
Arriving from Amsterdam after cutting short their spring break trip, Virginia Tech students Havisha Annamreddy and Kayleigh Stevenson said they rushed to the airport as soon as they heard of the new travel restrictions.
"We panicked and half of us went to the airport trying to stand on the American Airlines line, our friend's dad immediately started trying to look for tickets. Everyone's parents were really panicking. We didn't even like check out of the hotel, we have wet clothes in some of our bags," Annamreddy said.
Stevenson said she was adapting to a new normal of trying to avoid catching coronavirus.
"I think just being kind of aware of the situation around me, like if people are coughing a little bit more like not covering their mouths, maybe like standing somewhere else," Stevenson said.
U.S. citizens and permanent residents returning from Europe will be screened for the virus and asked to go into "self-quarantine" for 14 days as part of new travel restrictions that affect 26 nations but exempt Britain and Ireland, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said in an interview with CNN.
Trump on Thursday defended his decision to impose the measures, which go into effect at midnight on Friday and last for 30 days. Speaking to reporters at the White House, he said the ban could be lengthened or shortened.
The travel restrictions will heap more pressure on airlines already reeling from the pandemic, hitting European carriers the hardest, analysts said.
(Production: Kevin Fogarty, Liza Feria and Njuwa Maina)
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