The U.S. State Department has issued an unprecedented “do not travel” warning to U.S. citizens, as the number of coronavirus-related infections jumped sharply overnight.
The advisory said U.S. citizens should “avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19,” the coronavirus strain which last week was declared a global pandemic. The advisory added that citizens abroad should “arrange for immediate return” unless they are prepared to stay overseas indefinitely.
The warning was published Thursday, where the official count for coronavirus cases hit 220,000 infections around the world, with more than 10,000 cases in the United States alone.
Several countries have closed their borders and restricted travel to their citizens and residents in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.
This week, the European Union closed the so-called Schengen border, which covers the 27 member state bloc, and the U.S. closed its border with Canada to all but essential travel and trade.
The pandemic has seen stocks and global financial markets tank, prompting governments to inject cash and slash interest rates to try to keep their economies afloat.