Biden to block Trump’s plan to lift Covid-19 European travel restrictions

Nellie Chapman
January 19, 2021

As the Trump administration announced Monday it has eased travel restrictions between the United States and Europe along with Brazil, President-elect Joe Biden's incoming press secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration will not be easing restrictions. "In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around global travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19", she said.

The restrictions have barred almost 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 a proclamation, Trump said the restrictions would be lifted effective January 26, the same day a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order requiring a negative test for air travelers coming to the USA takes effect.

They had pressed senior White House officials about the issue in recent days.

According to the proclamation, Trump finds that the unrestricted entry into the U.S. of persons who have been to the aforementioned states "is no longer detrimental to the interests of the United States".

"Accordingly, the Secretary has advised me to remove the restrictions applicable to the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and the Federative Republic of Brazil, while leaving in place the restrictions applicable to the People's Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Iran", Trump said.

Allegheny County covid cases, hospitalizations continue to decline
The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) reported 3,228 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday for the Saturday 24-hour period. The county's all-time high for COVID hospitalizations occurred on January 7, when there were 8,098 people hospitalized.


Following an order last week by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most air travellers arriving in the US from 26 January will have to provide a negative Covid-19 test or proof of recovery from the disease to enter.

Trump is due to leave office on Wednesday.

Airlines had hoped the new testing requirements would clear the way for the administration to lift the restrictions that reduced travel from some European countries by 95 per cent or more.

Earlier in the day, Trump issued another executive order aiming to alleviate regulatory burdens on Americans by ensuring that they are fully aware of potential criminal liability for violations of regulations.

But the current restrictions that bar all non-US citizens who have been to those countries within the last 14 days would be lifted, according to a White House official.

Many administration officials for months argued the restrictions no longer made sense given most countries were not subject to the entry bans.

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