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US President Donald Trump said he had taken a coronavirus test, as the White House began protectively checking the temperature of anyone coming into close contact with him or Vice President Mike Pence
Appearing at a White House news conference where he attempted again to provide guidance and assurance to worried US citizens, Trump said he had yet to receive the results of his own test.
Contrary to medical advice, the president was seen on Friday shaking hands all round as he gathered his coronavirus response team at the White House – a practice he said owed to long-time habit as a politician but which he said would have to change.
Meanwhile, US Vice President Mike Pence said that Washington decided to extend the travel restrictions imposed on European nations to Britain and Ireland, starting at 04:00 GMT on Tuesday.
“Americans in the UK or Ireland can come home. Legal residents can come home,” Pence told a White House news conference, adding that such people would be “funneled through specific airports and processed.”
A 30-day US ban on travel from the EU’s Schengen border-free zone took effect on Saturday, but notably excludes Britain and Ireland.
Trump had earlier confirmed the ban would be extended to those countries as the pandemic progresses.