[BBC] – US President Donald Trump has announced sweeping new travel restrictions on Europe in a bid to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
In a televised address on Wednesday, he said all travel from Europe would be suspended for the next 30 days.
But he said the “strong but necessary” restrictions would not apply to the UK, where 460 cases of the virus have now been confirmed.
There are 1,135 confirmed cases of the virus across the US, with 38 deaths.
“To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days,” Mr Trump said.
“The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight,” he added.
Mr Trump also urged Congress to pass tax relief measures in an attempt to combat the effect of the coronavirus outbreak on the US economy.
“I am calling on Congress to provide Americans with immediate payroll tax relief,” he said.
What is the situation in the US?
Officials said the risk of infection was low for the general US public, but concern deepened after a number of new cases were confirmed earlier this month.
Containment efforts have begun in earnest. Troops have been deployed to New Rochelle, just north of New York City, where one outbreak is believed to have originated.
The National Guard will deliver food to some individuals who have been told to self-isolate there.
The governor of Washington state has banned large gatherings in several counties. The north-western state is the focal point of the outbreak in the US, accounting for 24 of at least 38 deaths across the country.