How Trump’s European Travel Ban Has Impacted My Relationship

Photo Courtesy of Margo
Europe woke up on Thursday morning to learn that US President Donald Trump had suspended air travel for Europeans to the United States to combat the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Speaking at his Oval Office address to the US he said: "This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history."
The president said the measures apply to travellers from 26 countries which are members of the Schengen border-free travel area (that's Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland).
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While the UK, Ireland and non-Schengen countries are exempt, and US citizens are also allowed to travel at this time, the new rules are set to come into effect at midnight tonight and will last for 30 days.

Globally, there are more than 118,000 people infected and close to 4,300 deaths.

The travel restrictions have confused many, with holiday and business plans ruined. But for Margo, the news of Trump's ban has left her feeling distraught. The 22-year-old from the west of France had flights booked for Sunday to visit her boyfriend living in the States, which she will now no longer be able to take. A text from her boyfriend changed everything.
Photographed by Meg O'Donnell.
"I woke up in the middle of the night and because my boyfriend and I are on a seven-hour time difference any opportunity is a good one to text," she tells Refinery29. "So I usually have texts from him during the night and if I wake up I respond. So he had texted me and it was a video of Trump announcing the travel ban and my boyfriend texted me: 'Fuck it's happening, I'm so sorry.'"
"It took me a minute to comprehend what was happening and I just couldn't believe it. It felt like a nightmare because I was supposed to fly in very soon and I had already started packing for the trip."
She says she got dressed into her "sad girl outfit" – pyjama bottoms and her boyfriend's sweatshirt from college, with his last name engraved on the sleeve – as she lay down to process the news.
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"It really hit me and I just cried all day. When I miss him, I put on my sad girl outfit," Margo says. "We do weekly countdowns to when we're going to be together again, so it was really hard to accept."

I woke up in the middle of the night from a text from my boyfriend which read: 'Fuck, it's happening. I'm so sorry.' It took me a minute to comprehend what was happening and I just couldn't believe it.

Margo, 22, france
Margo says she's scared that the travel ban will be extended and how that might impact her future holiday plans to see her boyfriend, as she travels to see him every 3-6 months.
She says: "The travel ban is very unfair... I'm a healthy person. It doesn't make sense to me that Americans living in Europe are still permitted to travel, yet the rest of us aren't allowed.
"I never thought my personal life would be so affected by all of this, but here we are."

It's hard enough being in a long distance relationship, let alone having the fear of one of us getting sick and not being able to look after one another.

Emily Natividad, 24
While Donald Trump's travel ban is only for EU nationals, the thought of the UK being restricted has Emily Natividad worrying. The 24-year-old lives in Reading and her husband lives in Arizona.
"It's made me really worried that I'll be separated from my husband during a pandemic if Trump decides to extend it to the UK as I rely on using my ESTA right now to visit my husband in America," the 24-year-old tells Refinery29.
"It's hard enough being in a long-distance relationship, let alone having the fear of one of us getting sick and not being able to look after one another."
The World Health Organization says you can protect yourself by washing your hands, covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing (ideally with a tissue), avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth and don't get too close to people who are coughing, sneezing or with a fever. If you suspect you have the symptoms of coronavirus, you should call NHS 111 and stay indoors.
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