President-elect Joe Biden rejected an effort by President Trump on Monday to lift bans on most travel into the U.S. from Europe, the U.K. and Brazil that were imposed as part of the Trump administration’s initial response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The restrictions imposed last spring applied to any foreigner present in those countries for the two preceding weeks, with a few exceptions.
Under a presidential proclamation released by the White House on Monday, the change would go into effect Jan. 26, the same day as new requirements announced last week that all people flying to the U.S. from abroad test negative for Covid-19 no more than three days before their flights. Restrictions on travel from China and Iran would remain in place.
But Mr. Biden’s incoming White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, wrote on Twitter on Monday night that the Biden administration wouldn’t lift the travel restrictions on Jan. 26.
“With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel,” she wrote. “On the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26. In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of Covid-19.”