Trump adds England, Ireland to travel ban, tests negative for coronavirus

White House now screening those who get close to Trump, Pence. Expert warns people without symptoms could still spread virus. 

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President Trump in White House briefing room
(Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Last Updated:
March 14, 2020 - 7:40pm

President Trump on Saturday extended his recently-imposed coronavirus European travel ban to include England and Ireland and learned he has tested negative for the deadly virus after coming in contact with several people who had the infection.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham announced the negative test Saturday evening.  

Also on Saturday, the White House announced that it is now performing temperature checks on anyone who’s in close contact with the president and Vice President Pence, including reporters. 

On the election front, Georgia became the second state to delay its primary because of the virus outbreak. The new primary is now scheduled for May 19.

Meanwhile, the administration's virus response coordinator acknowledged that some people without symptoms could still have the virus and be spreading it, something that appeared previously to have been a low risk. She cautioned much still needs to be learned.

"Until you really understand how many people are asymptomatic and asymptomatically passing the virus on, we think it's better for the entire American public to know that the risk of serious illness may be low, but they could be potentially spreading the virus to others" Dr. Deborah Birx said.

"That's why we're asking every American to take personal responsibility to prevent that spread."

Trump on Wednesday imposed a travel ban on most of Europe but had exempted England and Ireland. 

Under the new restrictions, U.S. citizens, green card holders and others would still be allowed to return home but only through 13 designated airports and only if they submit to health screenings and quarantine orders. 

“If you don’t have to travel, I wouldn’t do it,” Trump said as Britain's death toll reached 21, double the previous day’s number. 

Trump told reporters at a White House briefing on Saturday that his temperature had been taken before he spoke to them and that it was “totally normal.”