Biden to reinstate Covid travel bans

United States | Mon, January 25, 2021 | 09:23 pm

President Joe Biden will announce he is re-imposing a Covid-19 travel ban on most non-US citizens who have been in Britain, Brazil, Ireland and much of Europe, a White House official said Sunday, as the new administration ramps up its pandemic response.

In the midst of warnings that new, more transmissible coronavirus variants are already developing themselves in the United States, Biden will also extend the ban on Monday to travelers who have recently been to South Africa, the official said, confirming US media reports.

Last week, the new president tightened the rules on wearing masks and ordered quarantine for people traveling into the United States as he tries to tackle the worsening coronavirus epidemic in the world.

Biden said the death toll for Covid-19 is expected to increase from 420,000 to half a million next month—and that urgent action is required. He said on Thursday, “We’re in a national emergency. It’s time we treated it like one,” Donald Trump declared in his last days in office that the Covid-19 ban on travelers coming from most of Europe and Brazil will be lifted—but the Biden administration said it would revoke the order immediately, set to come into force on January 26.

On January 31, 2020, Trump declared an initial ban on non-American travelers entering China to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. As the pandemic reached full force, the ban was extended to European countries on March 14.

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