After the novel Coronavirus was declared a 'pandemic', United States President Donald Trump on Thursday announced that all travel from Europe to the US will be suspended for the next 30 days, except for Britain. In a televised address to the nation, Trump said the decision was made in order to "keep away new cases from entering our shores". The new measures will kick off Friday midnight local time.
"We will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight. These restrictions will are be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground," President Donald Trump said from the Oval Office.
He, however, maintained that there will be certain exemptions made for certain Americans "who have undergone appropriate screenings."
Further, in his address, President Trump said: "These prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval. Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing. These restrictions will also not apply to the United Kingdom." The UK, however, has 456 confirmed cases.
Trump also took a dig at the European Union by saying that they failed to take necessary action like the ones US took of banning travel to and from China and other hard-hit countries. There are 1,135 confirmed cases of the virus across the US, with 38 deaths. On the other hand, Europe has reported nearly 23,000 cases and over 9000 deaths.
The latest ban on entry from Europe will also likely hit Indians travelling to the US as many airliners make a stopover at European cities like Paris and Amsterdam. Likewise, flights from other parts of Asia to the US which go via Europe will also be hit. India has so far reported 67 confirmed cases but no deaths.
The World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a pandemic as the disease rapidly spread to more than 121,000 people from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America. Speaking to reporters in Geneva, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned of a further rise in the number of cases, the number of deaths and the number of affected countries.