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US may ban UK travel amid coronavirus outbreak

by Jonathan Adams

US President Donald Trump says rising number of Covid-19 cases could result in a rethink of exemption

Donald Trump has said the UK could be added to the list of European countries included in the US travel ban.

The US president announced a state of emergency on Friday to combat the coronavirus pandemic, freeing up billions of dollars in funding and promising a screening website and drive-through tests.

He told reporters during a White House press conference afterwards that the UK exemption had been made after being “recommended to me by a group of professionals” but he said the UK’s rising number of cases could result in a rethink of that decision.

Trump said: We are looking at it based on the new numbers that are coming out and we may have to include them in the list of countries that we will, you could say ban or whatever it is, during this period of time, but yeah their numbers have gone up fairly precipitously over the last 24 hours so we may be adding that and we may be adding a couple of others and we may frankly start thinking about taking some off.

Diagnosed cases in the UK rose to 798 on Friday. There had been 11 deaths as of Friday evening.

On Wednesday night, Trump announced that the US would temporarily suspend most travel from the European Union.

The restrictions, which began on Friday and are set to last 30 days, do not currently apply to US citizens or to travellers from the UK or the Republic of Ireland.

The restrictions apply to most foreign nationals who have been in the 26 countries of the Schengen area during the 14 days before their planned arrival in the US.

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