Airports Not Prepared for Influx of Passengers from Europe Travel Ban; Scenes from O’Hare

The European travel ban activated by Proclamation by President of the United States Donald J. Trump went into effect at midnight Friday (actually 11:59 p.m. on Friday/Saturday). The travel ban proclamation was announced Wednesday, March 11, 2020. The travel ban to and from Europe in the United States caused long, dense lines Saturday, March 14, 2020 at O’Hare International airport and 12 other airports that were approved to accept flights from Europe.

APPROVED FOR EUROPE ARRIVALS
Atlanta: Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
Chicago: Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
Dallas-Fort Worth: Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
Detroit: Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
Honolulu: Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
Los Angeles: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
New York City: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
Newark, New Jersey: Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
San Francisco: San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Seattle: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Washington, D.C.: Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Two others unknown at this time

Arriving passengers were cramped into a huge crowd of people waiting to be screened through U.S. customs at O’Hare International Airport. Initially there was no word whether any passengers were discovered to have a fever. Passengers and family were concerned that Social Distancing was invalidated by risk of exposure to to COVID-19 when hundreds of people were forced to wait side-by-side in large terminal areas. Passengers, some who waited for four hours, had their temperatures assessed and were asked where they had recently traveled.

President Trump announced Saturday, March 14, 2020 that the United States will expand the 26-country European travel ban (announced Wednesday March 11, 2020) to the United Kingdom and Ireland. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, diplomatic and official travelers, air and sea crew members, members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children, and certain other categories of travelers are still allowed to return home to the U.S., but will be funneled to 13 airports and be subjected to health screenings and quarantine orders.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker criticized the Trump administration on Facebook, adding the federal government needs to get its [email protected]#t together. NOW.

The crowds and lines at O’Hare are unacceptable and need to be addressed immediately.

President Donald J. Trump Vice President Mike Pence since this is the only communication medium you pay attention to – you need to do something NOW.

These crowds are waiting to get through customs which is under federal jurisdiction.

To the frustrated people trying to get home, I have spoken with the mayor and our Senators and we are working together to get the federal government to act to solve this.

We will do everything within our power to get relief.

The federal government needs to get its [email protected]#t together. NOW.

— Governor JB Pritzker (Faceboook)







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