- 12 Mar 20
This is an ongoing story.
US President Donald Trump has announced the suspension of all travel from the 26 Shengen border-free areas of the EU, which excludes Ireland and the UK. According to Trump, this will take effect "from Friday".
Critics have said that Trump's leadership surrounding the crisis is lacking, so in a primetime address from the Oval office last night, the current US President said "this is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history."
The statement from the White House said: "For purposes of this proclamation, the Schengen Area comprises 26 European states: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland."
"I'm confident that by ... continuing to take these tough measures, we will significantly reduce the threat to our citizens and we'll ultimately and expeditiously defeat this virus".
Additionally, he made it clear that measures would be taken to ease the financial burden of those who have had to take weeks off work in order to self-quarantine.
European Council President Charles Michel said that the EU will assess the travel ban later today, stating that "economic disruption must be avoided." Trump was harsh on Europe's involvement in the spread of the virus, saying "The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hotspots".