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Coronavirus: Donald Trump extends travel ban to include UK and Ireland
14 March 2020, 16:32
The US has announced it will expand its European travel ban to include Britain and Ireland - which will take effect from Monday.
Donald Trump tried to exempt the UK and Ireland from his 30-day ban on travellers from 26 European countries. The ban took place at midnight on Friday.
It comes as more than 1,000 people in Britain have tested positive for Covid-19. More than 20 people have died from the disease.
Some of the latest victims had underlying health conditions and were over 60 years of age
The UK has announced a ban on "mass gatherings" from next week with several sports events being cancelled in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
Mr Trump said during a press conference on Saturday about the decision to suspend UK and Ireland flights: "We're looking at it very seriously, yeah, because they've had a little bit of activity, unfortunately, so we're gonna be looking at that, we are actually already have looked at it and that is going to be announced."
Mike Pence later said the travel ban would take place from midnight on Monday evening.
He said Americans and legal US residents in Europe would still be able to return home and would be screen upon arrival for the illness.
Mr Pence added: "In our taskforce meeting today the president has made a decision to suspend all travel to the UK and Ireland, effective midnight Monday night, eastern standard time.
"Americans in the UK or Ireland can come home, legal residents can come home. They will be funnelled through specific airports and processed."
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said the president decided to extend the ban because of the number of growing coronavirus cases in the UK.
Infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci said the US has not reached the "peak" of its outbreak yet, despite having 20,226 cases.
Donald Trump was also tested for the virus but did not reveal the results during the press conference.