In a Saturday afternoon press conference, Vice President Mike Pence announced that, given the ongoing threat of the coronavirus, the U.S. will extend its 30-day travel ban to the U.K. and Ireland. The ban will go into place Monday at midnight.
Pence also announced that President Donald Trump is monitoring the situation and that the government might implement domestic air travel bans to populous and high-risk U.S. cities. Currently, people in 49 states have tested positive for the virus. As of Saturday, New York and Washington state have the highest numbers of confirmed cases.
Under the European travel ban, American citizens abroad will still be able to return to the U.S. at any time, but will be “funneled through specific airports and processed,” Pence said. However, non-residents looking to come to the U.S. will have to return from overseas before Monday, and all travel from the U.S. to the U.K. and Ireland will be stalled.
On Wednesday, Trump declared a similar ban on travel from the U.S. to 26 European countries. These countries include Italy, which is under a near-total nationwide lockdown, and Spain, which has reached a total of 5,753 cases and is expected to announce a lockdown soon, reported The Washington Post. The decision came after both the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued warnings about travel to and from Europe.
If you currently have travel plans to Europe, you should be able to cancel or rebook your flight without paying extra fees. Major transatlantic airlines, including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and American Airlines, are all offering waivers for those looking to change or cancel international flights.
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.
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