President-elect Joe Biden will block Donald Trump’s plan to lift the Covid-19 travel restrictions for non-American citizens arriving from the EU, the UK and Brazil, as soon as he takes office. This means the current curbs on international travel into the United States will remain.
Mr Trump signed an order Monday to lift the restrictions he imposed early last year in response to the pandemic from January 26. The news follows last week’s decision by the Administration to require international travellers to provide either a recent negative coronavirus test or evidence that they have already recovered from the disease.
Soon after Mr Trump’s order was made public, Biden spokeswoman Jen Psaki tweeted “on the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on Jan 26. In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
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.”
Thus, any hope for the airline industry and European countries who have been lobbying the White House to end the blanket bans, which have been in place for nearly a year, has been dashed. Both have been arguing testing standards and increased vaccination rates should allow for the blanket ban to be lifted.
Alan French, CEO of Thomas Cook said: ““As we’ve seen with the ban on travel to the US and its high case rate, simply blocking inbound tourism doesn’t necessarily mean countries can eliminate the virus. We can see customers are looking to book their holidays to Florida and other American cities later in the year but demand is currently quite low on our site – it seems customers are waiting for more certainty before booking the big family US breaks.”
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