Trump's sudden announcement of a Europe travel ban has sparked chaos at European airports, with travelers paying up to $20,000 for tickets home
- President Donald Trump's abrupt ban on travel from 26 European countries to the US has sparked chaos at airports throughout Europe.
- In the wake of the announcement it was unclear whether the ban applied to Americans travelling back from Europe, and many flooded airports seeking information and to book early flights home.
- The scene at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport was "bedlam," New York Times reporter Mike McIntire said, while Americans in Berlin told NBC News they rushed to the airport.
- Trump announced the travel ban as a measure to prevent the coronavirus from further spreading. It's not entirely clear if this measure would work.
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President Donald Trump's Wednesday announcement of a ban on travel to the US from 26 European countries has caused chaos at European airports, as Americans fearing being caught up in the ban attempted to travel home early.
In some of the busiest airports in Europe, reports emerged of long lines and confusion as Americans struggled to get information on the travel ban that took even European officials totally by surprise.
In the wake of the announcement it was unclear whether the ban applied to Americans returning home from Europe, whether they would face extra checks of quarantining at the US border, or whether flights would be canceled.
New York Times reporter Mike McIntire described the situation in Paris Charles de Gaulle airport as "bedlam," and said Americans were paying up to $20,000 for last-minute tickets home.
NBC News journalist Shannon Ho was about to fly home from Berlin's Tegel airport when the restrictions were announced, and spoke to several Americans caught up in the chaos.
"One man woke up to his boss at 3 a.m. demanding he come home today instead of his planned Saturday return. A Tesla worker cut their trip short by three weeks when the company told everyone to return to America," she told the outlet.
"A young man found out about Trump's announcement while out a club in Berlin and essentially left, booked this flight en route to his hostel, and came straight to Tegel."
Long lines were also formed in Barcelona, Spain, as Americans flooded into the city's airport in the early hours of Thursday morning following the announcement.
Student Michael Bjork, from Minnesota, told the Daily Mail that he had received an urgent call from his parents early hursday morning about the travel ban, and he rushed to the airport to book a flight home.
"People started to roll in like a wave. Almost all Americans and lots of students. Some here on spring break like my group and others studying here for the semester," he told the outlet.
He added: "Most people were very confused on what exactly the travel ban meant and honestly we're still a bit confused on the rules."
Trump's temporary ban on travel from the European countries was announced as a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus, though it's not immediately clear whether closing borders would actually stem the outbreak. There are currently more than 1,300 coronavirus cases on US soil.
The European Union condemned the ban on Thursday.
"The coronavirus is a global crisis, not limited to any continent and it requires cooperation rather than unilateral action," it said. "The European Union disapproves of the fact that the U.S. decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation."
Bedlam at U.S.-bound airlines at CDG in Paris early this a.m., as Americans pay as much as $20,000 for last-minute flights. pic.twitter.com/kkbOAEFn4Y- Mike McIntire (@mmcintire) March 12, 2020
The action @POTUS is taking to deny entry to foreign nationals who have been in coronavirus-affected areas will keep Americans safe & save lives. These are not easy decisions but they are required. I will issue guidance within 48 hours outlining details.https://t.co/KYXE7JKswC pic.twitter.com/zgi6r5FoZq- Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (@DHS_Wolf) March 12, 2020
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