The United States will ban nearly all travel from Europe to the United States from 13 March, US President Donald Trump says in an address to the nation.
“We will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days,” Trump says in a nationally televised address from the Oval Office on 11 March. “The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight. These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground.”
Exceptions will be made for Americans who have “undergone appropriate screenings”, he adds without expanding on what such screening might entail.
The restrictions do not apply to the United Kingdom, as the presidential proclamation only applies to 26 European states included in the border-free Schengen area.
The travel ban is designed to prevent further spread of the coronavirus, which has sickened 118,000 people in more than 110 countries. The President referred to the virus as a “foreign virus” because it began in mainland China, where most of the illnesses and deaths have occurred so far.
As of Wednesday evening local time, the outbreak has now encompassed 42 states, and more than 1,000 cases have been reported, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In Europe, Italy has been hit particularly hard, with 10,000 reported cases and almost 700 deaths as of Wednesday.