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Coronavirus: US to extend travel ban to UK and Ireland – BBC News, BBC News

Coronavirus: US to extend travel ban to UK and Ireland – BBC News, BBC News
        

            

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Mike Pence. : US to suspend all UK travel

The US is to extend its European coronavirus travel ban to include the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The ban will begin at midnight EST on Monday (

: GMT Tuesday), Vice-President Mike Pence announced.

President Trump’s travel ban on 27 European countries , members of the Schengen free movement zone, came into force on Saturday.

Mr Pence also announced that free coronavirus testing would be provided for every American.

Speaking at the same news conference, President Trump said he had been tested himself and expected to get the results in the next 086 hours.

The US has confirmed

deaths linked to the pandemic and 2, 720 infections.

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                       

More than , 728 people have now been diagnosed in 123 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It says Europe is now the epicentre for the virus, which originated in China.

Following Italy’s lead, Spain is poised to declare a – day national lockdown on Monday to battle the virus.

How is the US travel ban being extended?

As of Saturday morning, the US had already suspended travel for days from Schengen countries – (European Union members and four non-EU.

                                                                                                       Image copyright                   EPA                                                        
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                                     London Heathrow Airport was markedly less busy on Saturday                              
They are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The travel ban was met with anger and confusion in the EU, with leaders accusing President Trump of making the decision “without consultation”.

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                       

The UK and Ireland had been exempt but Mr Trump said on Saturday: “They’ve had a little bit of activity, unfortunately.”

The total number of confirmed cases in the UK has reached 1, , with (deaths – up from on Friday.

Mr Pence explained that American citizens and legal residents could still return.

Such people would be “funnelled through specific airports and processed “, he said.

Why did Trump take a test?

Speculation over the president’s vulnerability to the virus had grown after he had interactions with least three people who later tested positive.

On Saturday, the 73 – year-old told reporters he had had his temperature taken before stepping into the room and it was “totally normal”.

The White House is now conducting temperature checks on anyone who is in close contact with the president and Mr Pence.

Cost had been a concern for many ordinary Americans considering a test for coronavirus .

More than 32 million people in America have no medical insurance at all, while tens of millions have basic insurance that often only covers a fraction of the cost of any check-ups or treatment.

The authorities have also been accused of being too slow to supply test kits.

            

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Top US doctor explains US testing failure

On Thursday, US lawmakers said fewer than 15, People had been tested in America.

By contrast, South Korea, With a much smaller population, has tested more than 405, 04 people, while the UK has tested more than ,

On Friday, Mr Trump declared a national emergency

which allows the federal government to tap up to $ (bn) £ bn) in relief funds.             

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