US President Donald Trump announced a new ban on travel to and from Europe late Wednesday night in a public address from the Oval Office.
The President’s address began by discussing the nature of the pandemic and attempting to reassure Americans that they would survive this current disease. The President reiterated recent moves to fight COVID-19 including the ban on travel to China and other “Hotspots” and subsequently criticized the European Union for failing to take similar measures.
The President then announced a new ban on travel to or from the European Union for the next 30 days. The ban takes effect this Friday at midnight and will last for 30 days thereafter. The ban will affect commercial travel but will not affect trade and cargo. There will be exemptions made for Americans who have been appropriately screened. The State Department further clarified that the ban will not apply to American citizens, permanent residents or other family members. The United Kingdom has also been given an exemption to the travel ban.
The President was open to the possibility of reevaluating existing travel bans as situations start to improve in countries like China and South Korea. The president also discussed potential economic measures being taken to address the fallout from the pandemic.