State Department tells Americans to reconsider travel to ALL countries due to coronavirus amid fears lockdowns could be introduced without notice
- Washington State Department raised Worldwide Travel Advisory to Level 3
- US citizens are being asked to ‘reconsider’ planned travel outside of the country
- Comes after President Donald Trump revealed upcoming European travel ban
All American citizens have been asked to ‘reconsider’ leaving the country as the global spread of coronavirus continues.
The Washington State Department have increased the Worldwide Travel Advisory to Level 3: Reconsider Travel.
It came just moments after President Donald Trump revealed a planned ban on non-US nationals, who have traveled through 26 European countries, entering the US.
The travel advisory asks all Americans considering travelling outside of the US to cancel their plans to limit further spread of the illness.
The Washington State Department have increased the Worldwide Travel Advisory to Level 3: Reconsider Travel. Pictured, Donald Trump during his Oval Office speech yesterday
A statement read: ‘The Department of State advises US citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19.
‘Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions.
‘Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.’
It comes after President Trump caused widespread confusion during a speech at the Oval Office yesterday.
Americans have been asked to cancel any plans to travel abroad where possible to limit the spread of the virus. Pictured, a UCLA college student wearing a face mask
President Trump claimed all travel from Europe would be banned for 30 days from Friday.
The White House had to clarify the travel restrictions would apply to foreign nationals who have visited 26 European countries – excluding the UK and Ireland – in the past 14 days.
It won’t apply to US citizens who have been screened before travel, their ‘immediate’ family members or legal permanent residents.
And it is unclear over how the rules would be applied and in what time zone the midnight deadline would be introduced.
The World Health Organisation recently classified the outbreak as a pandemic, as the number of cases of Covid-19 in the US reached 1,200.
President Trump (pictured) claimed all travel from Europe would be banned for 30 days from Friday at midnight
‘We have seen dramatically fewer cases of the virus in the United States than are now present in Europe,’ Trump said.
COUNTRIES WHOSE PEOPLE ARE BANNED
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, Switzerland
WHO THE BAN APPLIES TO
Most foreign nationals who have been in these countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the United States*
AND WHO IT DOESN’T
‘Legal permanent residents, (generally) immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation.’*
* according to Department of Homeland Security
‘The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hot spots.
‘As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe.’
There are 118,000 cases globally and there have been more than 4,000 deaths, according to the WHO. The virus has spread to every continent except Antarctica.
Dr Margaret Harris from the World Health Organisation was among those criticizing the travel ban, warning that it focuses resources on borders rather than stopping the virus spreading through communities.
Speaking to Good Morning Britain in the UK, she said: ‘We are not keen on travel bans generally because it makes the country concerned focus on managing their borders rather than focusing on what we’d like to see.
‘[We need to] focus on the spread within the community and stopping the spread within the community and really supporting the health system to be able to look after the people that are and do get severely ill.’
After he spoke Trump clarified that while he had said trade would be banned, it actually only applied to humans
The White House said the travel restrictions would apply to foreign nationals who have visited 26 European countries – but excluding the UK and Ireland – in the past 14 days. Pictured, file image of a woman wearing a mask on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California
The move also drew immediate criticism from senior Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer who urged Trump to back their move to offer free testing kits, and to focus on fighting the spread of the virus within the US.
‘We have a public health crisis in this country and the best way to help keep the American people stay safe and ensure their economic security is for the president to focus on fighting the spread of the coronavirus itself,’ they said in a joint statement.
The Association of Flight Attendants was also quick to criticize Trump, branding his travel ban ‘irresponsible’ and saying it is ‘about politics, not public safety’.
‘There is no explanation for how this will help fight the spread of the virus,’ a statement said.
‘It makes little sense when the virus is already in the United States. The President expressly stated the United Kingdom is not included in the travel ban and yet the UK health minister herself has the virus.’
Read the full text of Donald Trump’s address to the nation on the coronavirus crisis
My fellow Americans: Tonight, I want to speak with you about our nation’s unprecedented response to the coronavirus outbreak that started in China and is now spreading throughout the world.
Today, the World Health Organization officially announced that this is a global pandemic.
We have been in frequent contact with our allies, and we are marshalling the full power of the federal government and the private sector to protect the American people.
This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history.
I am confident that by counting and continuing to take these tough measures, we will significantly reduce the threat to our citizens, and we will ultimately and expeditiously defeat this virus.
From the beginning of time, nations and people have faced unforeseen challenges, including large-scale and very dangerous health threats.
This is the way it always was and always will be. It only matters how you respond, and we are responding with great speed and professionalism.
Our team is the best anywhere in the world.
At the very start of the outbreak, we instituted sweeping travel restrictions on China and put in place the first federally mandated quarantine in over 50 years.
We declared a public health emergency and issued the highest level of travel warning on other countries as the virus spread its horrible infection.
And taking early intense action, we have seen dramatically fewer cases of the virus in the United States than are now present in Europe.
The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hotspots.
As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe.
After consulting with our top government health professionals, I have decided to take several strong but necessary actions to protect the health and wellbeing of all Americans.
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. These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground.
There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings, and these prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval.
Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing.
These restrictions will also not apply to the United Kingdom.
At the same time, we are monitoring the situation in China and in South Korea.
And, as their situation improves, we will reevaluate the restrictions and warnings that are currently in place for a possible early opening.
Earlier this week, I met with the leaders of health insurance industry who have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments, extend insurance coverage to these treatments, and to prevent surprise medical billing.
We are cutting massive amounts of red tape to make antiviral therapies available in record time.
These treatments will significantly reduce the impact and reach of the virus.
Additionally, last week, I signed into law an $8.3 billion funding bill to help CDC and other government agencies fight the virus and support vaccines, treatments, and distribution of medical supplies.
Testing and testing capabilities are expanding rapidly, day by day. We are moving very quickly.
The vast majority of Americans: The risk is very, very low. Young and healthy people can expect to recover fully and quickly if they should get the virus.
The highest risk is for elderly population with underlying health conditions.
The elderly population must be very, very careful. In particular, we are strongly advising that nursing homes for the elderly suspend all medically unnecessary visits.
In general, older Americans should also avoid nonessential travel in crowded areas.
My administration is coordinating directly with communities with the largest outbreaks, and we have issued guidance on school closures, social distancing, and reducing large gatherings.
Smart action today will prevent the spread of the virus tomorrow.
Every community faces different risks and it is critical for you to follow the guidelines of your local officials who are working closely with our federal health experts — and they are the best.
For all Americans, it is essential that everyone take extra precautions and practice good hygiene.
Each of us has a role to play in defeating this virus.
Wash your hands, clean often-used surfaces, cover your face and mouth if you sneeze or cough, and most of all, if you are sick or not feeling well, stay home.
To ensure that working Americans impacted by the virus can stay home without fear of financial hardship, I will soon be taking emergency action, which is unprecedented, to provide financial relief.
This will be targeted for workers who are ill, quarantined, or caring for others due to coronavirus.
I will be asking Congress to take legislative action to extend this relief.
Because of the economic policies that we have put into place over the last three years, we have the greatest economy anywhere in the world, by far.
Our banks and financial institutions are fully capitalized and incredibly strong. Our unemployment is at a historic low.
This vast economic prosperity gives us flexibility, reserves, and resources to handle any threat that comes our way.
This is not a financial crisis, this is just a temporary moment of time that we will overcome together as a nation and as a world.
However, to provide extra support for American workers, families, and businesses, tonight I am announcing the following additional actions: I am instructing the Small Business Administration to exercise available authority to provide capital and liquidity to firms affected by the coronavirus.
Effective immediately, the SBA will begin providing economic loans in affected states and territories.
These low-interest loans will help small businesses overcome temporary economic disruptions caused by the virus.
To this end, I am asking Congress to increase funding for this program by an additional $50 billion.
Using emergency authority, I will be instructing the Treasury Department to defer tax payments, without interest or penalties, for certain individuals and businesses negatively impacted.
This action will provide more than $200 billion of additional liquidity to the economy.
Finally, I am calling on Congress to provide Americans with immediate payroll tax relief.
Hopefully they will consider this very strongly.
We are at a critical time in the fight against the virus. We made a life-saving move with early action on China.
Now we must take the same action with Europe. We will not delay.
I will never hesitate to take any necessary steps to protect the lives, health, and safety of the American people.
I will always put the wellbeing of America first.
If we are vigilant — and we can reduce the chance of infection, which we will — we will significantly impede the transmission of the virus.
The virus will not have a chance against us. No nation is more prepared or more resilient than the United States.
We have the best economy, the most advanced healthcare, and the most talented doctors, scientists, and researchers anywhere in the world. We are all in this together.
We must put politics aside, stop the partisanship, and unify together as one nation and one family.
As history has proven time and time again, Americans always rise to the challenge and overcome adversity.
Our future remains brighter than anyone can imagine.
Acting with compassion and love, we will heal the sick, care for those in need, help our fellow citizens, and emerge from this challenge stronger and more unified than ever before.
God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you.
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