President Donald Trump announced Monday that the federal government will lift coronavirus travel restrictions to the United States from Brazil and dozens of countries in Europe, but a Biden administration spokesman later announced they would not comply with Trump’s proclamation.
“With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel,” incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted. “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.”
With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel.
— Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) January 19, 2021
The travel bans, in place since the early spring of 2020, would be lifted under Trump’s proclamation on Jan. 26, 2021, six days after Trump leaves office. Countries impacted include the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil and the European Union’s Schengen Area. A new federal mandate, signed earlier in January, requiring coronavirus screening for any travel into the United States also goes into effect that same day.
“The Secretary expects cooperation from those jurisdictions in implementing the testing order,” Trump’s proclamation reads. “Public health officials in the jurisdictions have a proven record of working with the United States to share accurate and timely COVID-19 testing and trend data, and the United States has active collaborations with the jurisdictions regarding how to make travel safe between our respective countries.”
“Those jurisdictions’ 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 in implementing CDC’s January 12, 2021, order,” the proclamation continued.
Reuters reported that the Trump administration has been weighing a lift on coronavirus travel bans for months. As it stands, U.S. citizens are still barred from traveling to the majority of countries named by Trump’s Monday proclamation.