In a televised address earlier, president Donald Trump said the move was “strong but necessary”.Travellers from the 26 countries in the Schengen border-free travel zone will be barred from entering the United States for 30 days from tomorrow.
This includes arrivals from Austria, Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Portugal, among others.A presidential proclamation also specified the ban would apply to anyone who had been in the Schengen area in the 14 days before their arrival in the United States.
There are 1,135 confirmed cases of the virus across the US, with 38 deaths so far. The travel order does not apply to US citizens. The United Kingdom and Ireland, which are outside the travel-free zone, will also be unaffected.
Trump added the European Union had “failed to take the same precautions” as the United States in fighting the virus.As of Wednesday, the number of cases of the coronavirus in the Schengen area totalled 17,442, with 711 deaths.
According to health officials, the area also shows high continuous growth in infection rates.