- The European Commission on Thursday condemned US President Donald Trump for imposing what it called a “unilateral” travel ban on arrivals of foreign nationals to the US from nearly the entire European Union.
- The European Commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen, and the European Council’s president, Charles Michel, released a joint statement criticising the move.
- “The European Union disapproves of the fact that the US decision to improve a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation,” the statement said.
- Trump has temporarily barred people from 26 European countries from travelling to the US in a bid to combat the novel coronavirus.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The European Union has condemned US President Donald Trump’s decision to impose a ban on most European citizens from travelling to the US.
In a joint statement, the European Commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen, and the European Council’s president, Charles Michel, accused Trump of failing to consult with European countries before making the decision.
“The coronavirus is a global crisis, not limited to any continent and it requires cooperation rather than unilateral action,” the statement said.
“The European Union disapproves of the fact that the US decision to improve a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation.”
It added: “The European Union is taking strong action to limit the spread of the virus.”
European countries were reportedly caught off guard by Trump’s announcement Wednesday night in a nationally televised Oval Office address.
The president told the US public he would ban travel to the US by foreign nationals from 26 European countries for 30 days starting Friday, with the exception of the UK, Ireland, and other countries not in the passport-free Schengen Area.
He initially said the prohibitions would apply to both “trade and cargo” as well, but this was subsequently retracted.
The exclusions of the UK and Ireland raised eyebrows after it was pointed out that these countries hosted golf courses owned by Trump.
Both countries are in the midst of coronavirus outbreaks, with the UK recording 460 cases and eight deaths to date.