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I hope this question is relevent to Aviation. If not, please let me know. Below is a snapshot from Flightradar24. While there are far less flights than usual, there are still a lot of flights en-route. I thought there were controls put in place last week in several countries. Do these flights have special permission?

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    $\begingroup$ This may be a better question for the Travel Exchange. There are controls and restriction put in place. That is different than a total prohibition on flights like the type we saw after 9-11. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Mar 18 '20 at 16:08
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    $\begingroup$ The restrictions are on who can still enter a country (pass immigration), not which aircraft can fly where, so this would be a better question for travel.stackexchange. $\endgroup$ – Bianfable Mar 18 '20 at 16:09
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    $\begingroup$ Plus, you can almost treat Europe as one country with the EU. As far as the US, that is not a lot of international flights. It might not be a lot of total flight all together. Considering DFW alone gets 1000 flight cycles every 4 hours of a normal day. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Mar 18 '20 at 16:12
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    $\begingroup$ Barring foreigners from entering a country is not the same as saying planes are not allowed to fly. A lot of people abroad need to travel home, and a lot of cargo is (and will continue) being moved around $\endgroup$ – expeditedescent Mar 18 '20 at 16:17
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    $\begingroup$ That said, the number of flights is already dropping drastically, and will continue to do so. flightradar24.com/data/statistics $\endgroup$ – expeditedescent Mar 18 '20 at 16:18
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The simple answer is that no one has shut down any airspaces yet and that is what stops planes from moving.

While many governments have put travel bans in place for people airplanes often carry other things like mail and cargo and it may still be viable and profitable to fly them. There is also the compounded fact that many people are trying to get home to quarantine them selves and in the short term there is still high demand for flights to move people back to their home countries.

Airlines are starting to cut flights due to reduced demand and over the next few months you will see a drop in flight traffic but if the airspace is open planes will keep moving.

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  • $\begingroup$ Great comments and answers. Many thanks to all. Roger and Out. (I'm old enough to say that) $\endgroup$ – ICL1901 Mar 18 '20 at 18:08

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