WASHINGTON DC – The U.S. government will extend its European Coronavirus travel ban to the UK and the Republic of Ireland, the BBC reports. The decision came on Saturday, the day that President Trump’s travel ban on 26 European Schengen countries came into force.
As of today there are no flights from 26 European Schengen countries to the U.S. Next week the UK and the Republic of Ireland are added to the countries with a travel ban.
The ban will begin at midnight on Monday (04:00 AM (GMT) on Tuesday), Vice-President Mike Pence said. Free coronavirus testing would be provided for every American, Pence added.
As of Saturday 12:00 AM, the U.S. had already suspended travel for 30 days from 26 Schengen countries – 22 European Union members and 4 non-EU countries, including 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.
It is expected that American citizens and green card holders still will be allowed to return home to the U.S.
President Trump said at the same news conference that he had been tested himself and he will expect to get the results within 48 hours.
The U.S. has confirmed 51 deaths linked to the pandemic and 2,488 infections.
The coronavirus (covid-19) originated in the city of Wuhan in China in December 2019, but the World Health Organization (WHO) says Europe is now the epicentre for the coronavirus. According to the WHO, more than 142,500 people have been diagnosed on March 14 in 123 countries worldwide with more than 5400 deaths reported.
As the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise, Spain is following Italy and France by declaring a 15-day national lockdown on Monday to battle the covid-19 virus.
(Head photo: Shealah Craighead / The White House, Washington DC. President Trump waves as he disembarks Air Force One at MCAS Miramar, San Diego on September 18, 2019).