European Union leaders have condemned the US government’s sudden 30-day transatlantic travel ban, set to be introduced on 13 March.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen says the coronavirus crisis is “not limited to any continent” and combating the threat “requires co-operation” rather than one-sided action.
“The European Union disapproves of the fact that the US decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation,” she says, in a joint statement with European Council president Charles Michel.
US president Donald Trump claimed on 11 March that the EU had “failed to take the same precautions” as the USA regarding travel restrictions on China and other regions at risk.
As a result, he says, infection clusters in the USA were “seeded” by travellers originating in Europe.
“Taking early intense action, we have seen dramatically fewer cases of the virus in the [USA] than are now present in Europe,” he claims.
Von der Leyen has countered Trump’s declaration, insisting that the EU is “taking strong action” to limit the spread of coronavirus.