Before the Trump administration suspension of flights to the US from the Schengen Area of the European Union took effect today, it was clear that the logic of exempting flights from the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and other ‘European’ countries was always doubtful. The cause of the suspension—the coronavirus—is well-established in both the UK and Ireland.
Trump subsequently said that it might be necessary to include the two countries in the future, whilst removing currently included countries.
This afternoon (UTC) the US government has indeed announced that as from midnight Eastern Standard Time on Monday, travel from the UK and Ireland for non-Americans or permanent residents will be suspended for a minimum of 30 days. That duration may be extended.
More than 2 000 people in the US are infected and 48 have died. On Friday Trump declared a state of emergency in the US which made approximately $50 billion available in aid.
The UK has over 800 cases of the COVID-19 illness and 20 have died.
It is claimed that there was no prior notice or consultation between the US and EU before the suspension. It is not known if the same lack of coordination has applied to the governments of the UK and Ireland.
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