Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Biden vows to maintain travel bans from UK and Europe

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The Trump administration has decided to lift its travel ban on people arriving from the UK and much of Europe, but a spokesperson for President-elect Joe Biden said he would maintain the restrictions in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The White House said Monday night it would lift bans on non-U.S. Citizens from the U.K., Republic of Ireland, the Schengen visa common area of ​​26 countries and Brazil, which are in effect. since the beginning of last year.

However, the new rules would take effect on January 26, six days after Mr Biden’s inauguration, and a spokesperson for the president-elect said he plans to maintain the travel bans.

“With the pandemic worsening and more contagious variants emerging around the world, now is not the time to lift restrictions on international travel, ”Jen Psaki, Mr. Biden’s new White House press secretary, wrote on Twitter. .

“On the advice of our medical team, the administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26”, she added. “In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures regarding international travel to further mitigate the spread of Covid-19.”

Under the Trump administration’s order, effective January 26, travelers from affected countries would be required to show proof of a negative coronavirus test or documents showing they have contracted and fully recovered from the disease. disease, according to new rules released last week by US centers. for disease control and prevention.

Meanwhile, a ban on travelers from China and Iran would remain in place. In a statement released by the White House, Mr. Trump said the two countries had “on several occasions. . . did not cooperate with public health authorities in the United States and did not timely share accurate information on the spread of the virus. “

Mr Trump’s efforts to lift the ban on UK arrivals comes as many countries impose new bans on travelers from the UK, where coronavirus rates have reached record levels and threaten to overwhelm the country’s health service.

Last month, Poland and Turkey joined countries like Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Belgium, Austria, Finland, Netherlands, Switzerland and India to prevent people from traveling from United Kingdom.

England entered its third nationwide lockdown on January 5, with non-essential stores closing and schools for all but a minority of students.

The UK government said late last week it would ban people from entering the country.

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