US President Donald Trump has told Americans to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people – and warned there are now just 15 days to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Speaking at a White House press briefing, he also said that young people need to play their part as they could end up spreading the virus unknowingly.
Other measures include asking people to stop eating in bars and restaurants – and for parents to teach children at home rather than send them to school – as COVID-19 continues to get a foothold in the US.
Mr Trump also announced that a vaccine candidate is now part of a clinical trial in the US, suppressing worries that the end to the pandemic seems to be nowhere in sight.
In other coronavirus developments:
- Globally more than 169,000 are infected and over 7,000 have died
- 55 people in the UK have died after contracting COVID-19
- French President Emmanuel Macron has announced Europe’s borders will close at lunchtime tomorrow for 30 days
- Virgin Atlantic has asked staff to take unpaid leave for eight weeks due to the pandemic
- Actor Idris Elba says he has tested positive for COVID-19
The commander in chief encouraged the US to come together “as one nation” during the outbreak, adding there will be a celebration once it is over.
He also acknowledged that the virus could now send the US economy into recession, while reassuring airlines that they will get the support from the White House that they need to get in the skies once again.
Mr Trump’s fresh measures come as New York City implemented a city-wide shutdown from Tuesday morning, amid a growing number of coronavirus cases, following the same move from Los Angeles.
It means that those cities will only be able to offer food as takeaway to stop people gathering indoors, while also closing nightclubs, bars, entertainment venues and theatres – to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Earlier on Tuesday, the president took part in a video conference with G7 members ahead of the next meeting in the US in June.
In the meeting, G7 leaders agreed to play their part in the coronavirus pandemic and use financial powers to boost the world economy and restore global growth.