U.S. extends travel restrictions to U.K., Ireland

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London Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5.
London Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5. Photo Credit: Charles Lewis/Shutterstock.com

In an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, the White House has expanded travel restrictions to include the U.K. and Ireland.

Starting Monday at midnight, no U.K. or Ireland citizens will be permitted to fly to the U.S. American citizens and green card holders are allowed to return to the U.S., but they must land at one of 13 airports for health screening.

At a White House news conference on Saturday, President Donald Trump said, “If you don’t have to travel, I wouldn’t do it.”

The U.S. on Friday began limiting travel from 28 countries in continental Europe.

Trump indicated Saturday that domestic travel restrictions are a possibility.

U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow responded to the U.K.-Ireland restriction.

“The public’s health and safety is priority No. 1, and we hope the aggressive steps taken by the federal government succeed in putting the moment of greatest concern behind us,” Dow said. “Hearing of the need to further expand travel restrictions -- especially the inclusion of our No. 1 overseas source market, the U.K. -- is obviously not the development the U.S. travel industry was hoping for. 

“Aggressive steps will also be needed to address the health of the U.S. economy, the small businesses that make up 83% of all U.S. travel employers, and the 15.8 million travel-supported jobs that are going to feel a catastrophic impact from coronavirus.”

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