Trump restricts travel from Europe to America, Italy closes businesses except supermarkets, pharmacies

12th March 2020

On Wednesday evening, the World Health Organisation officially labelled the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump officially restricted air and sea travel from the 26 European countries participating in the Schengen border-free travel area.

Mr Trump said “strong but necessary” restrictions would not apply to the UK, despite it having some 460 cases of the virus.

"To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe," Mr Trump said from the White House on Wednesday evening.

"The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight," he added. The travel order does not apply to American citizens.

There are 1,135 confirmed cases of the virus across the US, with 38 deaths so far, according to the BBC.

As Italy comes to grips with its outbreak, the worst effected in Europe with 12,462 cases and 827 deaths as of Wednesday evening, the government ordered all businesses to be closed barring supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies and banks.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte made the announcement on Wednesday evening.

Factories will still be able to manufacture products, but must adopt safety measures, such as regulating work shifts and closing all non-essential departments.

Farms and other agriculture companies will be able to produce food but must also take up safety measures. Essential government functions, such as transportation and postal service, will remain functional.

Currently, all of Italy is on lock-down, with the Maltese government imposing a travel ban to and from the country, as well as Spain, Germany, France and Switzerland.

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Trump restricts travel from Europe to America, Italy closes businesses except supermarkets, pharmacies