In a rare address to the nation, President Donald Trump has announced a travel ban from Europe to the United States due to the deepening spread of the coronavirus in Europe. Here are the key points:
The ban applies to all travel from Europe, excluding the United Kingdom and Ireland. It will come into effect on March 20th.
The ban specifically affects the 26 countries in the Schengen open borders area of Europe. However, American citizens will still be allowed to return home during this period.
President Trump referred to the coronavirus as a “foreign virus” and criticized the European Union for not responding swiftly enough to the outbreak. He suggested that some cases in the United States were introduced by travelers from Europe.
The British Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, stated that he does not believe the UK should implement a similar travel ban. He cited the evidence available as the basis for this decision. The UK is expected to move into its second phase of coronavirus policy, which may involve measures such as closing schools, canceling major sporting events, and encouraging remote work, similar to what has been done in Italy.
The World Health Organization (WHO) officially reclassified the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic. This change in classification is expected to prompt stronger responses worldwide. A pandemic is defined as a disease that causes widespread illness and death, affects a large number of people across the globe, and exhibits sustained person-to-person transmission.
Actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, have tested positive for the coronavirus. They announced their diagnosis via Instagram and have been in self-isolation since.