The United States has declared a national emergency and extended the travel ban to include the United Kingdom, its closest ally, to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The idea of “One Europe” is also being threatened as Spain follows Italy in declaring a nationwide lockdown and an increasing number of European countries is closing their borders.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said in a press conference on Saturday that the United Kingdom and Ireland will also be subject to the U.S. travel ban beginning on Tuesday. The travel ban, which was announced on Wednesday, was initially imposed only on 26 Schengen countries. The Pentagon also halted all domestic travel for troops and their families from Monday through May 11.
European nations are introducing wartime-like measures by closing shops, limiting movement and declaring a national emergency. Spain, the worst-hit country in Europe after Italy with 6,391 infections, declared a nationwide lockdown while France shut all shops except for supermarkets and pharmacies from Sunday. The United Kingdom has postponed its local and mayoral elections, which was scheduled on May 7, for a year.
Denmark has shut its borders for a month from Saturday, and Poland and Norway have banned foreigners from entering the countries starting on Sunday and Monday, respectively. The Czech Republic and Slovakia have also closed their borders to non-residents and those without family or friends in the country.
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