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(2nd LD) Trump says U.S. may reevaluate travel warning on S. Korea

All News 10:41 March 12, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS details, RESTORES previous content from 3rd para; ADDS photo)
By Lee Haye-ah

WASHINGTON, March 11 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that his administration may reevaluate the U.S. travel warning on South Korea as the coronavirus situation in the country improves.

Trump made the remark during an address to the nation held at the White House, after announcing a ban on travel from Europe, except the United Kingdom, to the United States for 30 days starting Friday at midnight.

"At the same time we are monitoring the situation in China and South Korea, and as their situation improves, we will reevaluate the restrictions and warnings that are currently in place for a possible early opening," he said.

This pool photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump delivering an address to the nation on the coronavirus outbreak from the Oval Office at the White House on March, 11, 2020. (Yonhap)

The address was watched closely in South Korea for possible travel restrictions on the country, following a series of travel advisories issued by the State Department last month.

The department issued the highest-level travel advisory for Daegu, where the majority of cases in South Korea have been reported, urging Americans not to travel there. The rest of South Korea has been under the second-highest level advisory, which calls for reconsidering travel to the country.

Travel restrictions have been in place for travel to and from China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, as well as Iran.

Axios reported Tuesday that senior Trump administration officials discussed banning travel from South Korea and Italy before ultimately nixing the idea.

Sources who spoke with the outlet said the determination was based on public health officials' assessment that the virus was spreading too quickly to be contained, and concerns within the State and Defense departments about the consequences given the strong U.S. military presence in South Korea and Italy's central location in the European Union.

Trump also announced economic relief measures for workers and small businesses affected by the outbreak, saying the country was not in a financial crisis.

The United States has reported 1,311 infections, while South Korea has reported 7,869.

This UPI photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump at a meeting with bankers on the COVID-19 response at the White House in Washington on March 11, 2020. (Yonhap)

hague@yna.co.kr
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