Impeached US President Donald Trump on Monday signed an order to lift the restrictions on travellers from Europe and Brazil that had been aimed at stopping the spread of the Coronavirus to the United States.
Soon after Trump’s order was made public, President-Elect Biden spokeswoman Jen Psaki tweeted, “On the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26.”
She added, “With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel.”
Until Biden acts, Trump’s order ends restrictions the same day that new COVID-19 test requirements take effect for all international visitors. Trump is due to leave office on Wednesday.
Last week, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed an order requiring nearly all air travellers to present a negative Coronavirus test or proof of recovery from COVID-19 to enter the United States starting on January. 26.
The restrictions Trump revoked have barred nearly all non-U.S. citizens who within the last 14 days have been in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the 26 countries of the Schengen area in Europe that allow travel across open borders.
In mid-March last year Trump signed orders to restrict most visitors from Europe, while the Brazilian entry ban was imposed in May.
Psaki added, “In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19.” The Biden transition did not immediately respond to a request to comment on if it planned to expand the countries covered.