Mike Pence
Mike Pence

Covid 19: US announces travel ban to UK and Ireland too

Agency News

US will broaden its European travel ban, adding the United Kingdom and Ireland to its list, and was considering imposing restrictions on travel within the U.S. to areas hit hard by the coronavirus spread.

The ban will begin at midnight on Monday (04:00 GMT Tuesday), Vice-President Mike Pence announced. President Trump's travel ban on 26 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. "Now it's all systems go," said National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci on efforts to expand testing. The US has confirmed 51 deaths linked to the pandemic and 2,488 infections.

In the first six weeks of vetting for the virus at US, 17 travellers were placed under quarantine at medical facilities, a senior official at the US Department of Homeland Security told Reuters news agency. During that period, more than 30,000 travellers were also asked to self-quarantine at home.