Mike Pence Announces US Will Extend Coronavirus Travel Ban To Include UK And Ireland From Monday
US Vice President Mike Pence has announced the US will be extending the Europe travel ban to include the UK and Ireland.
The measures will come into force from Monday night, Pence confirmed today, March 14, shortly after President Donald Trump held a press conference in which he mentioned an announcement about the ban should be expected shortly.
The ban will begin at midnight EST on Monday, March 16 (4am GMT on Tuesday), with Pence also announcing free coronavirus testing would be provided for every American person.
Speaking at the same press conference, Trump said he had been tested for coronavirus – also known as COVID-19 – last night and expected to get the results back in the next 48 hours, the BBC reports.
Addressing the crowd, the president said:
I also took the test last night. I decided I should based on the press conference last night.
Trump was referring to another press conference he held on Friday, in which he was repeatedly questioned about whether he had taken a test. At the time, he refused to give a solid answer but said he would ‘most likely’ be tested.
The extension of the travel ban comes after the number of cases of COVID-19 rose to 1,140 in the UK and the total number of deaths doubled to 21 in 24 hours.
The UK and Ireland had initially been exempt from Trump’s 30-day travel ban, which came into effect at midnight on Friday, March 13, and included 26 European countries in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.
In the US, there have been 2,499 confirmed cases and 55 reported deaths due to COVID-19, with Trump announcing a national emergency yesterday ‘to unleash the full power of the federal government’.
The president’s decision to declare a national emergency frees up $50 billion in federal resources to help combat the virus.
It also allows the secretary of Health and Human Services to waive applicable rules and regulations to give doctors, hospitals, and healthcare providers ‘maximum flexibility’ to respond to COVID-19.
Following Trump’s speech, the US military announced it would halt all domestic travel in a further bid to slow the virus, with some exceptions in place for service members, defense department civilians and their families.
The policy is set to go into effect on Monday, March 16, until May 11.
It’s okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our Coronavirus campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization on Coronavirus, click here.