ORLANDO, Fla. – President Donald Trump suspended all travel between the U.S. and Europe for 30 days beginning Friday as he seeks to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump made the announcement Wednesday in an Oval Office address to the nation, blaming the European Union for not acting quickly enough to address the novel coronavirus and saying U.S. clusters were “seeded” by European travelers.
Trump says the restrictions won’t apply to the United Kingdom and the U.S. will monitor the situation to determine if travel can be reopened earlier.
Orlando International Airport leaders said the travel ban could affect 92 inbound flights at MCO. The latest numbers from airport officials show a small decline in departures compared to numbers from 2019 around the same time.
Travelers at the Orlando airport Thursday who were canceling flights, some were rescheduling and others were rushing to get back home to Europe.
Jirous Knight was looking forward to traveling to Europe for the first time. But, he and his girlfriend chose to cancel their trip they had planned for Thursday.
“We were just going to vacation, experience a new culture,” Knight said.
With the travel ban, passengers like Knight said it’s frustrating to cancel on plans.
“Mostly about being stranded, we didn’t want to take that risk,” Knight said.
Xavi Birla is cutting his trip to Orlando short to head back to Spain three days early.
He’s from Barcelona, but in Orlando for the week for a work conference.
“The uncertainty is what made me make the decision because I have kids at home and I don’t want to get stranded,” Birla said.
Despite the widespread fears of COVID-19, some passengers say they’re still traveling.
“I already had it planned and paid for, it’s my daughter’s birthday trip so it is what it is,” said Kristel Sanchez who is traveling to Mexico.
In the meantime, at the Orlando International Airport, additional sanitation stations were set up.
Many passengers wore face masks at the airport.