In a televised announcement straight for the Oval Office by US President Donald Trump, it has been revealed that flights coming from selected European countries will be suspended for 30 days.
- Passenger flights from 26 EU countries suspended
- Democrats release contents of of a bill aimed to counter the virus
- CDC raises European travel warning
Passenger flights from 26 EU countries suspended
These flight suspensions come as a result of the ongoing coronavirus, recently declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) just hours before the president’s announcement.
While flights from countries including Italy, France, Germany, and 23 more will come to a halt, this suspension does not apply to the UK and Ireland.
Donald Trump claims that the growing cases of the coronavirus in the US are due to a lack of efforts on the EU’s part, failing to halt travel from China and other “hot spots”.
“The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hot spots […] As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe.”US President Donald Trump
In the initial announcement, Trump (mistakingly) mentioned that both passenger travel and trade with the EU would be effected. This resulted in swift drops in financial markets, which continued to decrease overnight.
This was followed up with the President correcting his claim on Twitter, reassuring the public that only passengers will be affected while trade will remain as is.
These recently announced travel restrictions will not apply to permanent US residents and immediate family members of US citizens.
However, citizens arriving from Europe will be required to go through specific airports, where they will be met with a screening process to test for the virus.
Democrats release contents of a bill aimed to counter the virus
Just two hours after Trump’s announcement, house Democrats released the contents of a bill they claim would include free coronavirus testing, paid emergency leave for workers, food security assistance, and more measures meant to help support people during the outbreak.
In a joint statement, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said:
“We have a public health crisis in this country and the best way to help keep the American people safe and ensure their economic security is for the president to focus on fighting the spread of the coronavirus itself […] Alarmingly, the president did not say how the administration will address the lack of coronavirus testing kits throughout the United States.”Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
CDC raises European travel warning
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also ended up raising their travel warning for Europe. The warning advises Americans against any nonessential travel to the specific countries within the EU region.
According to a statement made on the CDC’s website, “Travelers returning from the specified countries in Europe must stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing”.
At the time of writing, the number of cases in Italy are approaching 14,500 – so far the center of the pandemic in Europe. France has just over 2,250 reported cases while Germany is at over 1,500.