US restricts travel from Europe in attempt to fight coronavirus
The US is banning visitors from mainland Europe.
In a dramatic speech given on Thursday night, Donald Trump announced that he was restricting travel to the United States from most European countries.
The ban, which will be in effect for the next 30 days, applies to visitors from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
It also applies to anybody who has been in any of those countries in the last 14 days.
As things stand, Ireland is not included within the travel ban, as it is not part of the Schengen Zone. The United Kingdom is also not part of the ban.
In a statement issued last night, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf said:
"In January and February, the Administration issued similar travel restrictions on individuals who had been in China and Iran. That action proved to be effective in slowing the spread of the virus to the U.S., while public health officials prepared.
"In the next 48 hours, in the interest of public health, I intend to issue a supplemental Notice of Arrivals Restriction requiring U.S. passengers that have been in the Schengen Area to travel through select airports where the U.S. Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures."
Yesterday, the World Health Organisation officially designated COVID-19 as a pandemic.