EAST BOSTON (CBS) — As travel restrictions go into effect for a large part of Europe, President Trump’s move to fight the coronavirus has left confused Americans rushing to return home. As of midnight, the U.S. is stopping people coming from dozens of countries in Europe for 30 days.
“In this confusion, the question was how many flights will there be. I wouldn’t say it was chaotic, but I was personally very stressed about it,” said Ashley Mears who arrived at Logan Airport from Amsterdam, cutting short a business trip.
American citizens are exempt from the ban, but that clarification from the Trump administration came too late for some. Emily Spitzman and her two young children spent only 48 hours visiting her sister in Amsterdam and quickly turned around.
“Of course there was confusion because in the beginning we thought we had to come immediately and wouldn’t be allowed in for 30 days,” she said.
Getting tickets was a scramble with overwhelmed airlines. “My wife sent me a text at midnight to get out of there (Amsterdam) and it wasn’t really true. I spent $3,000 on a new ticket and I could have used my other ticket,” said a traveler Alan.
“I had to move my flight to tomorrow but that got cancelled,” said Tasha Sudosky, who had to go to the airport three times to finally be able to change her flight.
Logan has now been named one of 13 U.S. airports to begin enhanced health screenings on passengers arriving from several European countries in the last 14 days. But travelers like Mariama White-Hammond were surprised there wasn’t already more screening upon her return.
“I don’t know if the ban works if they’re not doing the public health things that other countries are doing,” she said. “I was so sure I’d go through a health screening here and nothing.”
Travelling from Germany with a work visa, Constance Schneider had to make sure she made it to her research job. “It was quite stressful. I actually had two weeks to get here but I had to plan everything in 24 hours.”
It’s become the quickly changing reality of the coronavirus.