WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has officially announced that the United States will broaden its European travel ban, adding the United Kingdom and Ireland to the list and was considering imposing restrictions on travel within the U.S. to areas struck by the coronavirus spread.
Due to the restrictions on European travel, American citizens, green card holders, and others are still allowed to return home to the U.S. Still; they will be funneled to 13 airports and subjected to health screenings and quarantine orders.
“If you don’t have to travel, I won’t do it,” Trump said.
The new restrictions came as the death toll in Britain nearly doubled from the day before to 21, and the number of people infected rose to over 1,000 from about 800 the day before. In Ireland, there were 90 confirmed cases and one death by Friday. The Irish government hasn’t released any updated figures on Saturday.
Earlier this week, the U.S. announced a 30-day ban on flights covered only by the 26-nation Schengen area, the European Union’s border-free travel zone, that does not include Britain or Ireland.
The move comes hours after the House approved legislation to provide direct relief to Americans suffering physically, financially, and emotionally from the coronavirus pandemic. Following Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, freeing up money, and resources to fight it, and threw his support behind the congressional aid package.
Trump’s emergency declaration unleashed as much as $50 billion for state and local governments to respond to the crisis.
Trump announced a range of executive actions, including a new public-private partnership to expand coronavirus testing capabilities with drive-through locations, as Washington tries to subdue the virus whose spread is rolling markets, shuttering institutions, and disrupting the lives of everyday Americans.
The House passed the bill after midnight on a bipartisan vote 363-40, and it now goes to the Senate.
“Good teamwork between Republicans & Democrats as the House passes the big CoronaVirus Relief Bill,” he tweeted Saturday. “People really pulled together. Nice to see!”
Trump tweeted his approval, ensuring that wary Republicans wold joint with a robust vote.
The crush of activity capped a turbulent week in Washington as the virus now left Americans being self-quarantine, school closures, and a changed way of life.
Trump took several other actions to bolster energy markets, ease the financial burden for Americans with student loans, and give medical professionals additional flexibility in treating patients during the public health crisis.
Central to the aid package from Congress, which builds on an emergency $8.3 billion measure approved earlier, are the free testing, sick pay, and family leave provisions.
Providing sick pay for workers is a crucial element of federal efforts to stop the rapid spread of the infection. Officials warn that the nation’s healthcare system could quickly become overwhelmed with gravely sick patients, as suddenly happened in Italy, one of the countries hardest hit by the virus.