President Trump announces suspension of travel between U.S. and Europe for 30 days
LOS ANGELES - President Trump delivered an address to the nation regarding the global coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday. The president announced a restriction on travel between the United States and Europe for 30 days with certain exceptions.
Trump said the restrictions won't apply to the United Kingdom and the U.S. would monitor the situation to determine if travel could be reopened earlier.
"It only matters how you respond and we are responding with great speed and professionalism," the president said.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced in a press release that the president had signed a proclamation which "suspends the entry of most foreign nationals who have been in certain European countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the United States."
"These countries, known as the Schengen Area, include: 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. This does not apply to legal permanent residents, (generally) immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation," according to the press release.
The president also announced initiatives to increase capital liquidity to firms affected by the coronavirus and economic loans to those businesses in affected states and territories. Health insurance companies are also waiving copays for coronavirus tests.
Trump said he is also seeking congressional approval for $50 billion in spending to combat the virus. Trump also reiterated his call on Congress to pass a cut to the federal payroll tax in order to stimulate the economy.
The prime-time address comes a day after Vice President Mike Pence's press conference where he announced various initiatives to create a greater availability of masks and tests, as well as health insurance waivers.
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Major events across the country, including Coachella and South by Southwest, have been postponed or cancelled entirely due to coronavirus fears.
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On March 11, the World Health Organization officially classified the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic. Over 4,500 invidiuals have died from the virus so far and over 66,000 have recovered, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. There were over 124,000 confirmed cases of the virus as of Wednesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.