US President Donald Trump has announced sweeping new travel restrictions on Europe in a bid to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
But he said the "strong but necessary" restrictions would not apply to the UK, which has 460 cases of the virus. A presidential proclamation issued later specified that only travellers from the 26 countries in the Schengen border-free travel area were barred.
This leaves a number of other European countries as well as the UK unaffected. "To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe," Mr Trump said from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening. "The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight," he added. The travel order does not apply to US citizens.
Mr Trump said the European Union had "failed to take the same precautions" as the US in fighting the virus. A Presidential Proclamation, published shortly after Mr Trump's speech, specified that the ban applies to anyone who has been in the EU's Schengen border-free area within 14 days prior to their arrival in the US.
This implies that Ireland is excluded from the ban as it is not one of the 26 Schengen countries. Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania are also EU members without being part of the Schengen area. Other countries - like Switzerland and Iceland - are part of Schengen but not in the European Union.
He said the travel suspension would also "apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo" coming from Europe into the US. But he later tweeted to say that "trade will in no way be affected" by the new measures.