Brits could be banned from visiting the US over fears the arrival of foreigners could exacerbate the spread of coronavirus.
According to reports, the Trump administration is set to discuss new restrictions on travellers from European countries as a top US health official warned that the pandemic "is going to get worse" in the United States after ravaging China, Italy and other countries.
The potential new measures could mirror a ban on travel to the United States imposed on foreigners who visited China in the prior two weeks, which was later extended to Iran, sources familiar with the discussions said.
Americans may also be advised to cancel travel to certain European countries.
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It was not immediately clear whether the White House would announce travel measures on Wednesday, but one source reportedly told Reuters that new travel advisories could possibly be disclosed.
Two weeks ago, the State Department issued a travel advisory calling on U.S. citizens to reconsider travel to Italy, where authorities said on Wednesday the death toll from the outbreak had jumped 31% to 827 in 24 hours.
The World Health Organisation announced that the coronavirus outbreak is a global pandemic on Wednesday.
Anthony Fauci, head of infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health, told a congressional hearing that the outbreak would only get worse in the United States.
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"We will see more cases and things will get worse than they are now. How much worse they will get will depend on our ability to do two things: To contain the influx of people who are infected coming from outside and the ability to contain and mitigate within our own country," Fauci told the House of Representatives Oversight Committee.
"Bottom line: It's going to get worse," Fauci said.
The number of US coronavirus cases has risen steadily and has affected almost three-quarters of US states.
More than 1,000 cases and 31 deaths have been reported.
President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday: "Together we are putting into policy a plan to prevent, detect, treat and create a vaccine against CoronaVirus to save lives in America and the world. America will get it done!"
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