Sunday, 15 March 2020

President Trump ‘Considering’ Domestic Travel Restrictions Amid Coronavirus Concerns

On Saturday, President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and other officials on the coronavirus task force held a press conference at the White House. During the briefing, the president took a question pertaining to domestic travel.
“Are you considering other travel restrictions, perhaps domestically?” a reporter asked.
“Yes,” Trump replied.
The reporter followed up by asking the president to elaborate, to which Trump responded: “Specifically from certain areas, yes, we are. And we’re working with the states, and we are considering other restrictions, yes.”
Vice President Pence was also asked about potential domestic travel restrictions.
“You said [on Monday] you’re speaking to all the governors … are we looking at any sort of domestic travel restrictions that could be coming down the pipeline anytime soon?” a reporter asked.
Pence replied: “With regard to additional travel restrictions, let me just say, as the president said, we’re considering a broad range of measures, but no decisions have been made yet.”
The vice president made sure to add that the administration is “going to continue to follow the facts” and “listen to the experts about recommendations.”
As of publication, there has been no further word from the White House regarding domestic travel restrictions.
On Wednesday, President Trump announced a 30-day travel restriction on foreign nationals from numerous European nations, with an exemption for the U.K. On Saturday, the president added the U.K. and Ireland to the list.
When the travel ban was announced, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued the following press release (emphasis added):
Today President Donald J. Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation, which suspends the entry of most foreign nationals who have been in certain European countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the United States. These countries, known as the Schengen Area, include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. This does not apply to legal permanent residents, (generally) immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation.
During Saturday’s press conference, Vice President Mike Pence spoke about the European travel ban, stating in part:
To be clear, countries where we have suspended travel under section 212F, Americans may still return to the the United States, legal residents may still return. They are being screened at some 13 airports as we speak. If they are identified as being symptomatic for any illness, there is additional response on site, but those Americans are being encouraged to return home and self-quarantine for 14 days.
There have been 2,662 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States and 58 deaths, according to NBC News, which cites its own reports, as well as data from the “World Health Organization, state government leaders, and health officials.”
Multiple events and destinations across the United States have been delayed or shuttered amid concerns about community spread of the virus.

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