According to the New York Times, a 30-day travel ban will go into effect at midnight Friday, but it will not be applied to the U.K., where there is currently 460 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Trump confirmed the decision during his Tuesday night Oval Office address, in which he laid out various measures to contain the outbreak.
BREAKING: Pres. Trump announces suspension of "all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight.— ABC News (@ABC) March 12, 2020
"The restrictions will "not apply to the United Kingdom," Trump added. https://t.co/XJYPTISbjM pic.twitter.com/mRMiavkUIh
Trump told the nation that Europe had failed to take the proper precautions to prevent the spread of the disease, and that "a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe." Last month, the U.S. announced it was temporarily suspending entry to foreign nationals who had been in China, where the outbreak emerged, during the previous 14 days. The ban did not apply to immediate family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
POTUS said U.S. officials will continue to monitor the situation in China and South Korea, and will re-evaluate the restrictions if they determine there was adequate improvement.
"Smart action today will prevent the spread of the virus tomorrow," Trump said during the address. "We are marshaling the full power of the federal government and the private sector to protect the American people. This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history."
Trump also announced that health insurance companies have agreed to waive all co-payments for coronavirus treatments as well as extend coverage for related treatments.
It was later reported that insurance companies responded by saying that Trump's comments weren't fully true.
Trump's claim tonight that health insurers "have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments" seems to be news to them.— Sarah Owermohle (@owermohle) March 12, 2020
“For testing. Not for treatment.” a spokesperson for the major insurance lobby AHIP says.
"This is not a financial crisis," Trump continued. "This is just a temporary moment in time that we will overcome as a nation and a world."
The coronavirus outbreak has taken an alarming toll on the global economy, fueling fears of another U.S. recession. Trump told viewers that he will ask the Small Business Administration to provide low-interest loans "to help small businesses overcome temporary economic disruptions caused by the virus." He said he has asked Congress to authorize $50 billion to fund the initiative; this is in addition to the $8.3 billion emergency spending bill that will go toward combating the virus.
Trump also announced that he will order the Treasury Department to "defer tax payments—without interest or penalties—for certain individuals and businesses negatively impacted" by the disease.
"Finally, I am calling on Congress to provide Americans with immediate payroll tax relief. Hopefully, they will consider this very strongly," he said. "We are at a critical time in the fight against the virus... We are all in this together. We must put politics aside, stop the partisanship, and unify together as one nation and one family. As history has proven time and time again, Americans always rise to the challenge and overcome adversity."
On Thursday, Trump said that restricting travel in the U.S. is a "possibility" if the coronavirus outbreak gets "too hot." NBC News reports.
"We haven't discussed that yet," Trump said during a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. "Is it a possibility? Yes. If somebody gets a little bit out of control, if an area gets too hot."