Following yesterday’s news that the entire country of Italy is on lockdown due to coronavirus, President Trump revealed during a press conference Wednesday afternoon that travel between the US and Europe will be suspended for 30 days, beginning this Friday.
In his Oval Office address, Trump said he was taking “strong but necessary action” by banning travel to the entirety of the European Union besides Britain. He claimed that the European Union did not act quickly enough to address its COVID-19 situation.
The president is currently “marshalling the full power” of the government and will continue to monitor the situation to determine if travel could be re-opened earlier.
He will soon announce emergency action to provide financial relief for workers who fall ill or need to be quarantined.
The Media should view this as a time of unity and strength. We have a common enemy, actually, an enemy of the World, the CoronaVirus. We must beat it as quickly and safely as possible. There is nothing more important to me than the life & safety of the United States!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 11, 2020
As of yesterday, Italy has the most substantial amount of coronavirus fatalities outside of China, with 366 deaths, according to the most recent World Health Organization (WHO) Situation Report.
“We’re encouraged that Italy is taking aggressive measures to contain its epidemic, and we hope that those measures prove effective in the coming days,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a briefing on Monday.
The Government of Canada has issued a travel advisory for Italy, asking Canadians to “avoid non-essential travel to Italy due to widespread community transmission of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and movement restrictions put in place to contain it.”