Last night President Trump shocked the public when he announced a 30-day travel ban to and from America from most European countries due to the coronavirus spreading across the world. Despite initially stating the ban was also on goods to and from Europe, Trump later clarified it was only on people. These are the major terms of the ban:
- The ban commences on Friday, March 13, at midnight and will run for 30 days.
- Despite the term “European” travel ban being thrown around, not all countries on the European continent are included in the ban.
- The ban specifically excludes the United Kingdom and Ireland, and it specifically includes the 26 countries that make up the European Union’s Schengen zone.
- The ban does not only cover citizens of those 26 Schengen Area countries, but also any non-American foreigners who have been to those countries in the past two weeks.
- American citizens, as well as permanent legal residents and their families, are excluded from the ban.
Thankfully Trump was wrong when he originally told the nation that the ban would also cover goods and cargo, yet still markets across the world haven’t reacted well to the news that the United States is implementing a travel ban on some of its closest allies.
Stock markets around the world have fallen as much as 8% on Thursday, and the worst could be yet to come. As of the time of this writing, U.S. markets have yet to open, and it’s likely we’ll see the same volatility here that world markets have already experienced overnight.
Hong Kong: -3.6%
South Korea: -3.8%
— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) March 12, 2020
Of course, the fall in global markets can’t all be blamed on Trump’s travel ban. Yesterday was somewhat of a tipping point for the coronavirus, at least from an optical perspective. Besides Trump’s travel ban, the virus was declared a pandemic, the NBA suspended the rest of this year’s basketball season, and Tom Hanks, one of the most famous actors in the world, announced he and his wife have caught the virus. That combination of events on a single day served to highlight to many people, perhaps for the first time since the outbreak, just how serious the situation has become, and it’s something that is almost certain to roil the markets in the days to come.