President Donald Trump on Monday announced he will lift coronavirus travel restrictions for foreign citizens entering the U.S. from Brazil and much of Europe — but the incoming Biden administration says it will leave the ban intact.
In an order Monday, Trump lifted the travel bans, which have been in place since last spring, effective Jan. 26, a week after President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
But incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted late Monday that with the pandemic worsening, “this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel,” and that the Biden administration “does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26.”
Biden could reverse the rollback of restrictions after he takes office at noon Wednesday.
The restrictions have barred foreign citizens who have been in Brazil, the U.K., Ireland and the 26 European countries making up the Schengen area in the 14 days prior to arriving in the U.S.
Travelers from China and Iran will still be restricted from entering the U.S., Trump said.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said starting Jan. 26, the U.S. will require all airline passengers — including U.S. citizens — arriving from other countries to test negative for COVID-19 within three days prior to their trip.
With that new testing regulation in place, airlines — whose business has been battered over the past year — had pressed the Trump administration to lift the stricter travel restrictions, Reuters reported.