By Alexandra Stevenson and Niraj Chokshi
March 12, 2020
By temporarily banning most European travelers from the United States, President Trump has struck at the lifeblood of global commerce, further restricting the flow of business people and tourists across borders and putting the world’s economy in greater jeopardy.
The abrupt halt will shake tourism-dependent industries on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, from airlines to hotels to museums and amusement parks. It will disrupt ambitious business plans. It will add to the problems of world leaders already wrestling with the relentless coronavirus outbreak and the threat it poses to jobs and livelihoods.
It adds to the world’s growing isolation as governments around the world tighten and even close their borders to stop the outbreak. It will also hammer the confidence of the world’s spenders, who are watching the news of the pandemic and increasingly choosing to stay home and keep their wallets closed.
Shares in European airlines were hammered Thursday after Mr. Trump late Wednesday announced that he would suspend travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days, with the exception of Britain. The State Department also warned Americans that they should reconsider all international travel, the most severe caution it can offer short of “do not travel.”
Travel and leisure stocks slumped nearly 10 percent on the benchmark Stoxx 600 index, and European airline shares plunged as much as 20 percent as the sector braced for a nearly unprecedented brake on activity. Air France, Lufthansa and IAG, the owner of British Airways and Iberia, fell as much as 13 percent. Shares in Carnival, the cruise ship operator, fell to 11-year lows.