THE TRADITIONAL shamrock bowl handover at the White House has been cancelled.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will meet with Donald Trump for “extended bilateral” discussions on Thursday but the handover ceremony has not been included in the President’s daily schedule.
The traditional shamrock bowl pass-over could happen at another point in the day or during the Oval Office meeting, however no such details have yet been confirmed.
It comes in the wake of the cancellation of several St Patrick’s Day parades in the US, including celebrations in New York and Chicago.
Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day parade has also been cancelled.
During an address to the nation on Wednesday night, President Trump also announced the suspension of all travel between the United States and Europe – excluding the UK and Ireland – for 30 days starting on Friday.
The cancellation of St Patrick’s Day celebrations in New York represents the first time in 258 years that the US parade has not gone ahead.
New York’s St Patrick’s Day parade dates back longer than the formation of the United States when thousands of Irish-Americans marched along Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.
State governor Andrew Cuomo took the decision after a meeting with parade organisers.
"One of the most effective ways to contain the spread of the virus is to limit large gatherings and close contacts, and I applaud the parade's leadership for working cooperatively with us," Cuomo said.
Despite the cancellation, officials have been keen to stress that it is merely being postponed and that the parade will take place at a later date.