Biden team says won’t lift Europe, Brazil travel restrictions despite Trump order


A traveler exits a testing center at Heathrow Airport on January 17, 2021 in London.

Hollie Adams | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The incoming Biden administration on Monday said it won’t lift a entry ban on most visitors from Europe, the U.K. and Brazil, shortly after President Donald Trump ordered an end to the Covid-19 travel restrictions.

“With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel,” tweeted President-elect Joe Biden‘s spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

Trump put the rules in place early in the pandemic to curb the spread of the virus and on Monday rescinded them, just days before Biden’s inauguration Wednesday. They prohibit entry to the U.S. for most non-U.S. citizens if they had been in Brazil, the 26 countries in the Schengen area of Europe, Ireland or the U.K. in the previous two-week period.

Trump’s order came less than a week after the U.S. said it would require travelers arriving from abroad, including U.S. citizens, to test negative for Covid-19 before flying. That requirement takes effect on Jan. 26, the same day the travel restrictions would be lifted.

Airlines have repeatedly asked the U.S. government to lift the travel bans, which have contributed to a sharp decline in air travel demand, with pre-flight Covid-19 testing.

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