Washington: President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that the United States will ban all Europeans from leaving the country for 30 days to stop the spread of a new coronavirus outbreak.
“To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight,” Trump said in an address to the nation.
However, he pointed out that the restriction “does not apply to the UK”.
Trump added that the ban will also “apply to many transactions and goods” and “to many other situations after we are approved.”
The president is outraged by what critics say is a slow response to the spread of the virus, which has claimed the lives of more than 4,500 people worldwide.
Trump has said he will exempt properly tested Americans, but has repeatedly denied the threat, initially claiming that only a few Americans are in danger.
He added that there were more cases in Europe since the government had not stopped traveling to China starting with the COVID-19 outbreak.
Donald Trump also announced measures to support economic growth while downplaying the situation.
While Trump is recommending a strong US economy, he urges Congress to “immediately give Americans payroll taxes” to help offset the impact of this epidemic, which has disrupted businesses, particularly the tourism industry, and leaves Wall Street drop.
“Hopefully they will consider this very strongly,” he said in an address to the nation.
He also said he would order the US Treasury to defer taxes on “certain individuals and companies affected by the epidemic,” a measure that would inject more than $ 200 billion in liquidity into the US economy.
Trump spoke after Wall Street experienced another day of setbacks, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell further, dropping 20% below its peak and pushing it into a “bear market.”
He criticized European governments for failing to act quickly to limit travel from China, and announced that from Friday at midnight all travel from Europe except the UK would be suspended for a month.
“These bans apply not only to large amounts of trade and goods, but to many other situations after we are approved,” he said. “We discuss everything from Europe to the United States.”
This will be a huge step after trade disputes and multiple rounds of tariffs on goods from Europe and other economies.
Trump said, among other things, that he will direct the Small Business Administration to “exercise its existing mandate to provide capital and liquidity to companies affected by the corona virus.”
The agency will provide low-interest loans to companies in the outbreak, and Trump has asked Congress to provide another $ 50 billion to pay for the initiative.
He also called on insurance companies to waive payments for patients seeking treatment for a COVID-19 infection.
Since the outbreak in China, the coronavirus has infected more than 124,000 people worldwide, killed 4,500 people and spread to more than 100 countries and regions.