Photo Credit: Doug Letterman / Wikimedia
JFK Airport, NY

Vice President Mike Pence announced the extension of the US ban on travel from European nations Saturday to include the United Kingdom and Ireland, as a means of further clamping down on the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic.

The new restrictions took effect early Saturday, at midnight.

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Americans and legal US residents were exempt from the ban but were to travel through specified airports and were to be processed with special screening upon arrival, in addition to being ordered to self-quarantine for a 14-day period.

The United States had already implemented a 30-day travel ban on arrivals from 26 European countries, in effect from March 12.

“While these new travel restrictions will be disruptive to some travelers, this decisive action is needed to protect the American public from further exposure to the potentially deadly coronavirus,” said Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.