"The Coronavirus is a global crisis, not limited to any continent and it requires cooperation rather than unilateral action. The European Union disapproves of the fact that the US decision to improve a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation. The European Union is taking strong action to limit the spread of the virus", the officials said.
The statement comes just a day after US President Donald Trump suspended all travel from the Schengen Area to the United States until the middle of April. The list includes 26 countries - 22 members of the EU, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. The ban, however, does not limit travel from the UK and Ireland.
The decision was made by Washington amid the coronavirus outbreak in Italy, where 12,000 people have been infected and over 800 have died due to the disease. Other states in the Schengen Area, and Europe in general, have also reported multiple cases, while in the US the number of infected has reached 1,300.
Current global data shows that since the first outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, the virus has spread to over 100 countries, infecting 126,000 worldwide. At least 4,600 have died from it and an estimated 68,000 have recovered in the ongoing pandemic. According to Chinese media, the number of new patients is decreasing across the country, including In Hubei province.