Homeland Security official: U.S. travel restrictions to Europe are 'under discussion'

Catherine Garcia

During a congressional hearing on Wednesday, Acting Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said that due to the coronavirus, government officials are mulling enacting travel restrictions for Europe.

Italy has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, with 12,000 confirmed cases and more than 800 deaths. "You've seen Department of State and CDC warnings go up," Cuccinelli said. "That is not to the level of using legal authorities to block travel yet, but it is under discussion." More than two dozen European countries are part of the Schengen Zone, which allows for free movement without border controls. This causes a "unique problem," Cuccinelli said, because "they don't have border for the purposes of travel."

White House officials told CNN President Trump's top advisers held meetings on Wednesday to talk about whether to issue travel advisories, including recommending Americans avoid all non-essential travel to Europe.

More stories from theweek.com
The entire country of Norway is 'shutting down'
Trump doubles down on coronavirus tests 'going very smooth' as administration comes up millions short
Democratic debate loses moderator, moves locations over coronavirus