President Donald Trump canceled travel from 26 European countries to the U.S. for the next 30 days, beginning Friday at midnight.
U.S. President Donald Trump has announced sweeping new travel restrictions on Europe in a bid to combat the spread of the coronavirus. In a televised address, he said all travel from European countries would be suspended for the next 30 days.
But he said the "strong but necessary" restrictions would not apply to the U.K., where 460 cases of the virus have now been confirmed.
There are 1,135 confirmed cases of the virus across the U.S., with 38 deaths.
"To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe," Mr Trump said from the Oval Office on Wednesday.
"The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight," he added.
Mr. Trump said the European Union had "failed to take the same precautions" as the U.S.
A Presidential Proclamation, published shortly after Mr Trump's address, specified that the ban applies to anyone who has been in the EU's Schengen border-free area within 14 days prior to their arrival in the U.S.
This implies that Ireland, as well as the UK, is excluded from the ban, as Ireland is not a Schengen country.
Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania are also EU members without being part of the Schengen area.
He spoke just hours after Italy - the worst affected country outside China - announced tough new restrictions. It will close all shops except food stores and pharmacies as part of its nationwide lockdown.
Mr. Trump said the travel suspension would also "apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo" coming from Europe into the U.S.
He also announced plans to provide billions of dollars in loans to small businesses, and urged Congress to pass major tax relief measures in an attempt to stymie the effect of the coronavirus outbreak on the U.S. economy.
"We are marshalling the full power of the federal government and the private sector to protect the American people," he said.
- Source: News websites