US President-elect Joe Biden has rejected plans by President Donald Trump to lift the COVID-19 ban placed on travelers arriving from most European countries and Brazil.
President Trump had announced that he would lift the travel ban on Europe and Brazil, although travel bans for China and Iran would remain in place.
“This action is the best way to continue protecting Americans from COVID-19 while enabling travel to resume safely,” he said in a statement released by the White House.
Reacting swiftly, Biden’s spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, quickly dismissed Trump’s announcement.
“On the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26,” the incoming press secretary tweeted.
“In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“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 added.
Recall that the US president had announced an initial ban on January 31, 2020 on non-American travelers entering from China to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The ban was extended to European countries on March 14, the US shutting itself off from the world as the pandemic entered full force.