The U.S. government is expected to announce on Saturday that it is expanding its travel ban on most European countries to include Britain and Ireland as it seeks to contain the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, airline and U.S. officials told Reuters.
U.S. President Donald Trump originally exempted Britain and Ireland from his 30-day ban on travelers from 26 European countries that took effect at midnight on Friday.
More than 1,140 people in Britain have tested positive for the virus and 21 have died from COVID-19, the disease it causes.
That's higher than many European countries affected by Trump's travel ban.
Yesterday the President defended his controversial decision to ban all travel to and from Europe, which he announced without discussing with leaders of those countries.
"It was recommended to me by a group of professional and we are looking at it based on the new numbers that are coming out," he told reporters.
"We may have to include them (the UK) on the list of countries that we will . . . you could say ban or whatever it is during the spirit of the time.
"But yes, their numbers have gone up fairly precipitously over the last 24 hours. So we may be adding that (Britain), and we may be adding a couple of others, and we may frankly start thinking about taking some off."
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- Donald Trump
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