Biden orders COVID-19 journey restrictions, South Africa provides

President Joe Biden has reintroduced COVID-19 travel restrictions for non-U.S. Travelers from Brazil, Ireland, the United Kingdom and 26 other European countries that allow travel across open borders

January 25, 2021, 8:04 p.m.

3 min read

Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said South Africa was included on the restricted list because of concerns about a variant of the virus that has spread beyond that nation.

“This is not the time to lift restrictions on international travel,” said Psaki.

The ban that Biden is reintroducing suspends entry for almost all foreigners who have been in any of the blacklisted countries at any time in the 14 days prior to their planned trip to the United States

The new requirements come into effect on Tuesday.

Leading U.S. Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, described Biden’s decision to reintroduce travel restrictions and add South Africa to the list as “prudent” in a round of television interviews on Monday.

“We are concerned about the mutation in South Africa,” Fauci told CBS This Morning. “We look at them very actively. It is clearly different and more threatening than the UK, and I think it is very wise to restrict non-citizen travel.”

Biden revered an order from President Donald Trump in his final days in office calling for travel restrictions to be eased from Tuesday. Trump’s move was made in conjunction with a new requirement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that all international travelers to the United States must receive a negative test for COVID-19 within three days of boarding their flight.

Last week, Biden expanded the CDC requirements, instructing federal agencies that international travelers must be quarantined upon arrival in the U.S. to receive another negative test to help slow the spread of the virus. These requirements also come into effect on Tuesday.

The 26 European countries affected by the reinstatement of the ban are part of the border-free Schengen zone. These include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain , Sweden and Switzerland.

Biden’s team announced they would reintroduce travel restrictions, but the addition of South Africa to the restricted travel list underscores the new government’s concern about mutations in the virus.

Fauci said the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against these variants is “only slightly and marginally decreasing” but “there is enough cushion with the vaccines that we have that we can still see them as effective against both the British tribe also look towards the south. ” Africa tribe. “

However, he warned that more mutations are possible, and said the scientists are preparing to adjust the vaccines if necessary.

“We really have to make sure that we have to start and prepare already if there is a need to upgrade the vaccines,” said Fauci. “We are already taking steps in that direction, even though the vaccines we have now are working.”

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