To combat additional pressures, the US will reverse Trump’s order and put Covid-19 travel restrictions on South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Brazil.


This will impact the entry of non-US citizens from the UK, Brazil, South Africa and 26 countries in Europe where new and more contagious coronavirus strains have emerged

President Joe Biden will reinstate coronavirus travel restrictions on non-US citizens who have been in the UK, Brazil, Ireland, and 26 countries in Europe. The ban will also be extended to most non-US citizens if they have been in South Africa recently. The measures are being taken in an attempt to curb the spread of new Covid-19 variants that have emerged in the UK, Brazil and South Africa, which are believed to be more infectious.

“We are adding South Africa to the restricted list because of the concerning variant present that has already spread beyond South Africa. (The agency) was putting in place this suite of measures to protect Americans and also to reduce the risk of these variants spreading and worsening the current pandemic,” Dr Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told Reuters.

The executive order that will keep in place the travel restrictions is expected to be signed by Biden on Monday, January 25. This will reverse the January 18 order by former President Donald Trump who had decided to lift the ban on travelers from Europe and Brazil before his term ended. Trump’s directive would have come into effect on January 26.

“I agree with the secretary that this action is the best way to continue protecting Americans from Covid-19 while enabling travel to resume safely,” Trump wrote in the proclamation, referring to then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.

Hours after Trump’s announcement, however, the Biden transition team promised that the new administration would not lift the restrictions. “With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel. On the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26. In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of Covid-19,” then-incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki had tweeted.


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