Trump to suspend travel from Europe to the US, effective Friday

President Trump announced a 30-day ban on travel from European countries to the United States, beginning on Friday at midnight, in a bid “to keep new cases” of coronavirus “from entering our shores.”

The restrictions, he said late Wednesday, do not apply to travelers from the United Kingdom.

Homeland Security officials said the travel restrictions would only apply to foreign nationals, not American citizens or legal permanent residents, who have been in the Schengen region, which consists of 26 countries in Europe with open borders agreements, in the last 14 days. After Trump’s announcement, the State Department issued an advisory informing U.S. citizens to “reconsider travel abroad” as a result of outbreaks around the globe.

Trump also announced economic measures that he said would help the country overcome “temporary economic disruptions” caused by the disease.

The president’s prime-time remarks Wednesday cap a concerted effort by the White House to calm a public made jittery by the rapid global spread of the disease and the concomitant economic turmoil. Worldwide, the number of cases of coronavirus has exceeded 125,000, with more than 1,000 of those reported in the United States, where the outbreak is expected to get worse.

Trump’s address followed a Wednesday announcement by the World Health Organization, which classified the outbreak a pandemic. In Washington, lawmakers scrambled to find ways to contain the economic fallout of the fast-spreading virus.