US President Donald Trump has announced that travel from Europe to the US will be suspended due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. These restrictions will not apply to the UK.
In a televised statement from the Oval Office on Wednesday (March 11), Trump said the European Union had “failed to take the same precautions [as the US] and restrict travel from China and other hotspots”.
“As a result, a number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travellers from Europe,” he continued. “To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days.”
The measures, which Trump called “strong but necessary”, will come into effect this Friday, March 13. The travel suspension will not apply to the UK.
At the time of writing, the UK currently has 460 confirmed cases of COVID-19, compared to around 1,200 cases in the US.
Trump also noted that the travel restrictions will “apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo” between US and Europe, and “various other things as we get approval”. He also said that there would be exemptions for Americans who undergo “appropriate screenings”.
Watch Trump’s address via ABC10 below:
The European Commission did not comment on Trump’s announcement, according to CNBC.
In an additional statement from the US Department of Homeland Security, per The Guardian, Trump’s travel ban will suspend entry to “most foreign nationals who have been in certain European countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the United States”.
“These countries, known as the Schengen Area, include: 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.”
Moments after the President concluded his speech, actor Tom Hank and his wife Rita Wilson announced that they had tested positive for COVID-19 while filming in Australia.