A ‘late’ ban imposed by the United States to travellers coming from Europe could have been fatal for the US Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).

In January, just as a large share of countries, the United States as well, turned all eyes on China, when the Coronavirus started to be spread, introducing entry bans and travel restrictions, but at the same time, the virus also started to be spread in the European countries.

The US government didn’t impose bans on European travellers until mid-March, and it may have contributed to the rapid spread of the pandemic, VisaGuide.World reports.

Even though the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention didn’t blame the White House for the quickened spread of the virus in the United States, there have been some timeline by the Federal Agency’s May 1 report showing details regarding the issue.

“While much of the coronavirus focus months ago was on travellers from China, where the infections began, travellers from Europe, including Italy, were walking freely through New York area airports unscreened,” New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo pointed out concerning the CDC report.

It is estimated that some  860,000 arrived from Europe in the US during March. President Donald Trump did not publicly respond to the CDC’s latest report on Europe.

First confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the US from travellers coming from China has been documented in January and February, while in late February the US started to see new infection cases of persons who didn’t have contact with Hubei-related importation.

While the United States prohibited the entry for persons coming from China in early February, President Trump banned the entry for European countries in mid-March.

“Certain interventions that were critical in the early stages, such as quarantine and airport screening, might have less impact when the transmission is widespread in the community. However, many elements of the mitigation strategies used during the acceleration phase will still be needed in later stages of the outbreak,” the report reads.

Below you can find a timeline of travel and event-related US COVID-19 spread

  • January 17: The CDC and US Customs and Border Protection began passenger screening at select US airports.
  • January 23: China locked down Wuhan and all of Hubei province, banning travel.
  • February 2: The US implemented a travel ban on non-U.S. travellers from China. In February 1.74 million airline passengers arrived at the US from the European Union, excluding the UK and Ireland.
  • February 11-March 5: Some 101 passengers returned to 18 US states from nine Nile River cruises (including on the MS Asara), “nearly doubling the total number of known COVID-19 cases in the United States at that time,” the CDC stated.
  • From early February to mid-March international (China and Europe) and interstate travelled to multiple introductions of Coronavirus in northern California.
  • Around one million people attended Mardi Gras in New Orleans in late February, and 175 people attended a Biogen conference in Boston, with both greatly ratcheting up US infections.
  • Travellers from Europe and other regions from the United States are tied to the outbreak in the New York City area.
  • Mid-March: It was five weeks from the partial US ban on travellers from China until President Trump banned non-U.S. travellers from Europe (March 13) and the UK and Ireland (March 16).
  • In March, flyers to the US from Italy decreased by 74 per cent to 35,877, and from the Schengen countries dropped 50 per cent to 862,432.

Share this article