US extends travel ban to Britain, Ireland

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 15, 2020
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The White House announced on Saturday that the United States is extending Europe travel restrictions to Britain and Ireland due to COVID-19, which will be effective Monday midnight eastern standard time.

"We suspend all travel from the UK and Ireland, that will be effective midnight Monday night eastern standard time," said Vice President Mike Pence at a White House briefing.

He added that U.S. citizens and legal residents in Britain and Ireland are able to return to the United States through specific airports.

U.S. acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said later at the briefing that the restrictions bar travel for foreign nationals who had been present in Britain and Ireland in the past 14 days.

These restrictions will not apply to air and maritime cargo and economic shipping, noted Wolf.

The travel ban that Washington imposed on 26 European nations has been effective since Friday midnight.

Trump declared a national emergency on Friday to open up 50 billion U.S. dollars in federal aid to help combat the spread of COVID-19 across the country.

The United States reported 2,488 COVID-19 cases as of Saturday noon with at least 51 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Britain reached 1,140 as of Saturday morning, an increase of more than 300 over the last 24 hours, according to the latest figures released by the British Department of Health and Social Care. 

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