Shortly after the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic, President Donald Trump on Wednesday night announced a 30-day travel ban on countries which are members of the Schengen border-free travel area which are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. The new rules go into effect on Friday at midnight EDT (0400 GMT).
The UK, Ireland and other non-Schengen countries are unaffected. US citizens are also exempt.
The EU condemned the measures, which it said were taken "unilaterally and without consultation".
The US has recorded 1,323 Covid-19 cases as of Thursday morning, with 38 confirmed deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center map.
Mr Trump also said the suspension would also apply to cargo coming from Europe into the US. He later tweeted to say that trade would "in no way be affected".
The speech included plans to provide billions of dollars in loans to small businesses and the president urged Congress to free up more funds.
In other developments:
Schools, colleges and other public facilities in the Republic of Ireland will close from 1800 Thursday local time to 29 March.
Italy closed nearly all shops, bars, hairdressers, restaurants and cafes until 25 March.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel, warned that up to 70% of the country's population, approximately 58 million people, could contract the coronavirus.
India suspended most visas for foreigners until 15 April.
Greece reported its first coronavirus death, a 66-year-old returning from a pilgrimage in the Middle East.
Chinese health authorities have said that the peak of the outbreak in China is over.