UK warns against ‘all but essential travel’ to US as Trump extends coronavirus travel ban

The move comes after US President Donald Trump, who has tested negative for the virus, announced a travel ban on Britain. A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are advising against all but essential travel to the USA following the US government announcement imposing restrictions on travel from the UK (and Ireland) effective from midnight on Monday March 16 EST (4am GMT on Tuesday March 17).

“British nationals with journeys planned and citizens already in the US are advised to contact their airlines or tour operators.”

It comes after Mr Trump announced his coronavirus travel ban would be extended to the UK and Ireland from Monday.

The US President said the measure was in response to the increased spread of the deadly bug in the two countries.

The UK and Ireland were originally excluded when Mr Trump announced a ban on travel from 26 European countries.

But speaking at the White House yesterday, he said: “We’re looking at it very seriously, yes, because they’ve had a little bit of activity unfortunately, so we’re going to be looking at that.

“We actually already have looked at it and that is going to be announced.”

Vice President Mike Pence added that it would come into force at midnight on Monday in the eastern US.

He said: “In our taskforce meeting today the president has made a decision to suspend all travel to the UK and Ireland, effective midnight Monday night, eastern standard time.”

There had been a “unanimous recommendation” from health experts to extend the travel ban, Mr Pence said.

He added: “Americans in the UK or Ireland can come home, legal residents can come home… they will be funnelled through specific airports and processed.”

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It comes as there have been 1,140 confirmed cases of the killer virus in the UK, with the death toll at 21.

Boris Johnson will announce emergency powers to deal with the outbreak on Tuesday.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed that elderly people will be asked to self-isolate for up to four months as measures to tackle the virus are ramped up.

He also said that ministers were seeking to give police powers to arrest and forcibly quarantine people who are sick with the illness but are not self-isolating.

And the Prime Minister will urge manufacturers to shift their production lines to build ventilators.

The Government is in talks with private hospitals about the possibility of taking over beds.

There could also be a shift to household isolation rather than individual self-isolation.

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