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Coronavirus: US to extend travel ban to UK and Ireland

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The US is to extend its European coronavirus travel ban to include the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The ban will begin at midnight EST 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.

Speaking at the same news conference, President Trump said he had been tested himself and expected to get the results in the next 48 hours.

The US has confirmed 51 deaths linked to the pandemic and 2,488 infections

More than 132,500 people have now been diagnosed in 123 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It says Europe is now the epicentre for the virus, which originated in China.

Following Italy’s lead, Spain is poised to declare a 15-day national lockdown on Monday to battle the virus.

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