WASHINGTON D.C. – President Donald Trump said Wednesday night he is suspending all travel between the U.S. and Europe for 30 days beginning Friday as he seeks to combat a viral pandemic.
The announcement was made in an Oval Office address to the nation, blaming the European Union for not acting quickly enough to address the “foreign virus” and saying U.S. clusters were “seeded” by European travelers.
“We made a lifesaving move with early action on China,” Trump said. “Now we must take the same action with Europe.”
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. Trump said he was also directing agencies to provide unspecified financial relief for “for workers who are ill, quarantined or caring for others due to coronavirus,” and asked Congress to take action to extend it.
He said the U.S. will defer tax payments for some individual and business filers for three months to lessen the impacts of the virus outbreak, and the Small Business Administration will also make low-interest loans available to businesses.