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US Suspends Flights From 26 European Countries except UK and Ireland.

US Suspends Flights From 26 European Countries except UK and Ireland.

US Suspends Flights From 26 European Countries except UK and Ireland-via

US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday March 11 that United States will bar all flights from 26 European countries, with the  exception of the UK and Ireland, for a month .

Trump called the actions "strong but necessary" to mitigate the spread of the disease in the United States- as cases in the US exceed 1,200 with at least 37 deaths most of which are concentrated on the east and west coasts.

"We haven't discussed that yet," Trump said Thursday when asked about possible U.S. travel limits, NBC reported.

"Is it a possibility? Yes. If somebody gets a little bit out of control, if an area gets too hot," Trump added.

However, the President assured that the restrictions will not apply to US citizens returning from Europe, as long as they have undergone the appropriate checks, as they will have to pass through 13 airports and self-quarantine for 14 days.

The restrictions follow an announcement made Wednesday by the World Health Organization (WHO) that officially labeled the new coronavirus epidemic a pandemic.

"The European Union disapproves of the fact that the U.S. decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation,” European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement.

When Trump announced the ban in an Oval Office address on the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, he dubbed COVID-19 a "foreign virus" — which the EU swiftly criticized.

"The coronavirus is a global crisis, not limited to any continent and it requires cooperation rather than unilateral action,” the EU officials said.

Officials said the Union "is taking strong action to limit the spread of the virus," which could kill up to five million Americans, according to WHO forecasts.

In his announcement, Trump said the European Union "did not take the same precautions" as the United States before announcing the travel restrictions - which will take effect Friday at 12 p.m.

Trump has designated the UK as an exception to the ban - but there was some confusion because a later statement from the Department of Homeland Security said that only countries in the Shengen free movement zone would be banned, which which means that Ireland was also exempt.

DHS clarified that the travel restrictions would not impose a total travel ban on all of Europe or on all American citizens.

Only countries in the Schengen area - which includes 26 continental European countries which have abolished border controls at their points of entry - would be prohibited.

"These restrictions will be adjusted according to conditions on the ground," the president said to the American public, while emphasizing the need to remain calm.

British and Irish plus travelers and US citizens who have undergone "proper checks" will be exempt from the one month ban, as well as freight.

Trump added that his administration would monitor the situation to determine if the trip could be reopened sooner.

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