Donald Trump explained that the restrictions will not apply to the United Kingdom
President Donald Trump has announced a ban on travel for many people from much of Europe in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
“To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days,” Trump said addressing the U.S. from the Oval Office on Wednesday.
The new rule will go into effect Friday at midnight, Trump said.
“These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground. There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings,” Trump said.
Trump added that the restrictions will not apply to the United Kingdom. The travel restrictions will also not apply to legal permanent residents and immediate family members of U.S. citizens.
In a statement on Thursday, the European Union reportedly slammed Trump’s decision, saying in part: “The European Union disapproves of the fact that the U.S. decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation. … the [Trump] administration did not consult with European allies before POTUS’ announcement. And on the U.K.’s being excluded — European officials express responses ranging from curiosity to horror.”
As of Wednesday, there are now at least 1,015 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States.
Thirty-one people in the U.S. have died from coronavirus-related illness, mostly in Washington state.
The majority of U.S. cases are in Washington state, California and New York, and all three have declared a state of emergency to redirect funding.
Worldwide, there are now 121,545 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 4,373 deaths.
The first cases of a mysterious respiratory illness — what is now known as COVID-2019, a form of coronavirus — began in Wuhan, China in late December. Since then, the virus has spread worldwide, leading the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency, the first since the zika epidemic in 2016.
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At first, this coronavirus was contained to China, but Wuhan is a major transportation hub with hundreds of flights leaving and landing from the city of 11 million each day. Soon, as people flew from the area to different countries, the coronavirus reached more countries, including the U.S.
The first U.S. case was found in Everett, Washington, just outside of Seattle, in a man who had recently returned from Wuhan. The number of cases grew slowly from there, with a total of just 14 over the course of about a month, but as February came to an end, the virus began to spread more rapidly in communities across the U.S.