The United States will suspend most travels from Europe for a month in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Along with the WHO’s declaration of a pandemic, the ban is expected to have huge ramifications for for many areas including the global economy and foreign affairs as it will suspend transatlantic movement of people between the U.S. and Europe.
“We will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. These restrictions will not apply to the United Kingdom,” said U.S. President Donald Trump in his coronavirus address on Wednesday (local time). “The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight.” He went on to say, “The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hotspots. As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe.”
This 30-day ban applies to foreigners who have been in the 26 European countries under the Schengen Agreement. However, there will be exemptions for American citizens who have gone through screenings as well as trade and cargo. “After consulting with our top government health professionals, I have decided to take several strong but necessary actions to protect the health and well-being of all Americans,” said President Trump. He also added that the limits will be adjusted according to circumstances on the ground.
Speaking on South Korea and China, the U.S. president said, “We’re monitoring the situation in China and South Korea and as their situation improves, we will re-evaluate the restrictions and warnings that are currently in place for a possible early opening,” which is interpreted as possible adjustments to South Korea where aggressive screenings and response have slowed down the spread of the virus.
The U.S. Department of State has issued the second strongest warning to South Korea except for Daegu to which it has issued the strongest warning. After the address, the State Department issued the second strongest advisory to all foreign countries, advising its citizens to reconsider travel abroad because of the global impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
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