US President Donald Trump announced that only travellers from the 26 countries in the Schengen border-free travel area were barred from travelling to the United States.
These “strong but necessary” restrictions would not apply to the UK, which has 460 cases of the virus.
“The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight,” he added. The travel order does not apply to US citizens.
A presidential proclamation, published shortly after President Trump’s speech, specified that the ban applied to anyone who had been in the EU’s Schengen border-free area in the 14 days before their arrival in the US.
He also announced plans to provide billions of dollars in loans to small businesses and urged Congress to pass major tax relief measures in an attempt to stymie the effect of the coronavirus outbreak on the economy.