United States President Joe Biden will reimpose coronavirus travel restrictions on most non-American citizens who have been in Britain, Brazil, Ireland, and most of Europe said a White House official.
Besides, the newly-elected president will also extend the ban to those who have recently travelled to South Africa to combat the spread of a new variant of Covid-19.
The new president last week tightened mask-wearing rules and ordered quarantine for people flying into the United States, as he seeks to tackle the country’s worsening coronavirus crisis. Biden has said that the Covid-19 death toll would likely rise from 420,000 to half a million next month — and that drastic action was needed. “We’re in a national emergency. It’s time we treated it like one,” he said on Thursday.
We are adding South Africa to the restricted list because of the concerning variant present that has already spread beyond South Africa,” News agency Reuters quoted Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s principal deputy director as saying
Earlier last week, Biden had unveiled his “wartime” national strategy to boost the fight against the raging Covid-19 pandemic, including making the coronavirus test followed by quarantine mandatory for all travelers coming from overseas.
Announcing the measures, a day after he was sworn in as the 46th president, Biden said it would take months to defeat the pandemic but America would “get through this” if people stood together.
In his last days in the office, Donald Trump said that a Covid-19 Travel ban on travelers coming from Europe and Brazil would be lifted, but the Biden administration immediately said it would reverse the order due to come into effect on January 26.
Trump had announced an initial ban on January 31, 2020, on non-American travelers entering from China to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The travel ban was extended to European countries on March 14 as the pandemic entered full force. More than 25 million Covid-19 cases have been recorded in the US since the pandemic began, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally on Sunday.
The milestone was reached only five days after the US, the world’s wealthiest and hardest-hit nation, recorded 400,000 deaths from the disease.
Biden has made fighting the coronavirus a priority and is pushing for Congress to approve a $1.9-trillion relief package that would include billions of dollars to boost vaccination rates.
The president, who was inaugurated on January 20, has said he wants 100 million people vaccinated within his first 100 days in office, and he has called for Americans to wear masks for 100 days.