Biden to reinstate coronavirus travel ban for most non-US citizens: Report

WION Web Team
WASHINGTONUpdated: Jan 25, 2021, 08:01 AM IST


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Coronavirus cases in the US has crossed 25 million mark. This number has been reached just five days after the US recorded 400,000 deaths from the disease.

US President Joe Biden is expected to reinstate COVID-19 travel restrictions to combat coronavirus infections, a White House official said ahead of the official announcement.

The restrictions, apply to non-US citizens who have been in Brazil, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and much of Europe.

Also read: Biden set to push US Congress for $1.9 trillion in Covid relief

Biden will also extend the ban to travellers who have recently been to South Africa amid warnings that new, more transmissible coronavirus variants are already establishing themselves in the United States, the official said, confirming US media reports.

The Covid-19 cases around the world approached the 100 million mark, as infections in the US surpassed 25 million. The US is also stepping up surveillance of virus variants to monitor their impact on vaccines.

"We are adding South Africa to the restricted list because of the concerning variant present that has already spread beyond South Africa," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC's principal deputy director, in an interview Sunday.

She added the agency was "putting in place this suite of measures to protect Americans and also to reduce the risk of these variants spreading and worsening the current pandemic."

Then-President Donald Trump directed on Jan. 18 those restrictions on Brazil and Europe be lifted effective Tuesday but Biden's proclamation will rescind that decision.

Biden, who took office on Wednesday, is taking an aggressive approach to combating the spread of the virus after Trump rejected mandates sought by U.S. health agencies.

(With inputs from agencies)