Trump bans flights from 26 European countries to USA

12.03.2020 at 12:22

Travel news

US President Donald Trump has announced sweeping travel restrictions on 26 European countries in a bid to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The ban applies to travellers from countries which are members of the Schengen border-free travel area.

The UK, Ireland and other non-Schengen countries are unaffected. US citizens are also exempt.

The EU condemned the measures, saying it was taking “strong action” against the virus.

The new rules go into effect on Friday at midnight EDT and mark a major escalation from the US president, who has been accused of inaction over coronavirus.

There are 1,135 confirmed cases of the virus across the US, with 38 deaths so far.

“This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history,” he said.

Justifying the travel restrictions, he accused the EU of failing to take “the same precautions” as the US in fighting the virus.

His speech said all travel from Europe would be suspended but a presidential proclamation later said it would only apply to anyone who had been in the EU’s Schengen border-free area in the 14 days before their arrival in the US.

Mr Trump also said the suspension would also apply to cargo coming from Europe into the US. He later tweeted to say that trade would “in no way be affected”.

The speech included plans to provide billions of dollars in loans to small businesses and the president urged Congress to free up more funds.

President Trump said for most Americans the risk was “very, very low” adding “no nation is more prepared or more resilient than the United States”.

It is currently unclear how will each airline handle the flight tickets of passengers affected by this decision, but we hope all such tickets will be fully refunded.

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