Biden rejects Trump’s move to lift coronavirus travel bans for Europe, Brazil

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s team rejected a move Monday by outgoing President Donald Trump to lift coronavirus restrictions for European and Brazilian travelers.

Trump had announced he was rescinding the entry bans effective January 26 — six days after Biden takes office — because of new testing requirements for international flights set to kick in that day.

Biden transition spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Twitter, however, that upon the advice of its medical team, the incoming administration “does not intend to lift these restrictions.”

“In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Psaki, adding in a separate tweet: “With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel.”

Trump had said in a White House statement that the restrictions would be lifted for Europe’s Schengen area, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Brazil. Since last spring, nearly all non-U.S. citizens have been barred from entering the U.S. if they had been in these countries within the prior 14 days.

But Trump argued that in light of the coming requirement for international air travelers to show proof of a negative coronavirus test, it is “no longer detrimental to the interests of the United States” to maintain the restrictions.

He said he would, however, maintain restrictions for Iran and China, because their “responses to the pandemic, their lack of transparency, and their lack of cooperation with the United States thus far in combatting the pandemic, cast doubt on their cooperation.”



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