Trump considers airline restrictions between U.S. virus hotspots

Trump considers airline restrictions between U.S. virus hotspots

Looking for ways to stop the further spread in the United States of the Coronavirus, President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that he was considering a plan to limit flights between certain cities which have been virus hotspots, but shrugging off the broader idea of halting all travel in the U.S. by air or rail.

"I am looking at hotspots," the President said at his daily Coronavirus briefing at the White House. "I am looking where flights are going into hotspots."

But pressed by reporters about a broader ban on travel - whether airlines or trains - the President indicated that did not seem to be one of his likely choices.

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"Closing up every single flight on every single airline, that's a very, very rough decision," Mr. Trump added.

"We have trains going back and forth, and people don't think of trains," the President noted. "It's a very big decision to do that (close them down)."

The issue of restrictions on airline travel comes at a time when the U.S. airline industry is seeing record low traffic, as airlines have grounded passenger jets and reduced flights.

Data released by the Transportation Security Administration shows a gigantic drop in the number of air travelers going through security at America's airports since the virus outbreak began, as many flights are operating with just a few passengers on board.

"When you start closing up entire transportation systems, and then opening them up, that's a very tough thing to do," the President said.

As for when he would make a decision, the President indicated he would not wait too long.

"We will let you know fairly soon," Mr. Trump said Wednesday evening.