Trump is considering suspending domestic travel to curb the spread of Corona
US President Donald Trump has announced that he is considering imposing restrictions on domestic travel between the United States of America, and it is one of the toughest measures the administration could take to block the Corona virus.
President Trump said on Saturday that his administration would extend the European travel ban to the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of ongoing efforts to combat the coronavirus, before saying he was also looking into the possibility of restrictions on domestic travel.
European travel ban extended
In response to a question in the White House conference hall about reports that the European travel ban will be extended, he said, "We look at it very seriously ... Yes, because they did some activity. Unfortunately, we will look at it. We have actually discussed the matter and it will be announced."
In response to a question about whether he is considering imposing any restrictions on domestic travel, Trump said: "Yes, specifically in certain regions, yes we are ... We are working with the states and we are considering imposing other restrictions, yes."
Vice President Mike Pence later confirmed at the press conference that travel from the United Kingdom and Ireland would be suspended from midnight on Monday. He said this was done after a unanimous recommendation by health experts at the White House.
Pence stressed that the Americans who are currently returning abroad will be allowed to return to their countries, but they will be tested and examined upon their return through specific and limited airports.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said this applies specifically to foreign nationals who have been in the United Kingdom or Ireland in the past 14 days, and that it does not apply to US citizens, permanent legal residents, and foreign diplomats, nor does it apply to goods.
Wolf also said that major cruise lines had agreed to suspend departing flights for 30 days, that smaller airlines followed suit, and that in some limited cases the government had given "a small group" orders not to sail. He said these restrictions started late Friday.
Regarding whether the US administration is considering imposing travel restrictions in the United States, Pence pointed to Trump's remarks and said, "We are studying a wide range of measures, but no decisions have been taken yet."
Trump announced late on Wednesday that travel from Europe would be restricted for 30 days - but he initially exempted the United Kingdom and Ireland. The Department of Homeland Security went on to explain that the ban affected most foreign nationals who were in the European "Schengen zone" without passports within 14 days before traveling to the United States.
On Saturday, officials did not explicitly say whether the US embargo on Britain and Ireland would be subject to the same 30-day timeframe as the broader ban on Europe.
The region concerned consists of 26 countries, including France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden. The Trump administration imposed a travel ban on foreign nationals who visited China and Iran last month.