Travel restrictions to remain as is, despite Trump's statement: Biden Team


Washington DC
Picture Courtesy: Reuters
Picture Courtesy: Reuters

The spokeswoman for US President-elect Joe Biden immediately rejected Donald Trump's announcement on Monday that a Covid-19 ban on travelers coming from most of Europe and Brazil will be lifted, underscoring the fractious transfer of power.

"On the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26," tweeted Jen Psaki, press secretary for Biden.

"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 said.

President Trump said just minutes before Psaki's tweet that he would lift the travel ban on Europe and Brazil, while travel bans on China and Iran would stay in effect. "This action is the best way to continue protecting Americans from COVID-19 while enabling travel to resume safely," he said.

On January 31, 2020, Trump declared an initial ban on non-American travelers entering China to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. On March 14, the ban was extended to European countries, with the US shutting itself out of the world as the pandemic came into full force.

Both Biden and Trump's comments come days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that within three days of their departure, all air passengers bound for the US would be required to test negative for Covid-19.

The research policy will take effect on 26 January and builds on an earlier testing regulation that targeted Britain and came into effect in December following the appearance of a more suspected transmissible form of coronavirus.

Some epidemiologists have warned that it is possible that new, more transmissible strains are already emerging in the United States, the pandemic's hardest-hit country in the world.

After a rocky power handover and in the midst of an unprecedented surge of Covid-19 cases in the US, Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday.

For months, Trump had refused to recognize the results of the November 3 election, arguing baselessly that the vote had been manipulated and ignoring court decisions to the contrary, leaving the nation seething with discord and resentment.

He refused access to funds and services to Biden's team and still did not congratulate Biden or invite him to the Oval Office for the traditional tea visit,

Instead, after his followers rampaged through Congress on January 6, Trump has stayed largely out of the public eye, prompting his unprecedented second impeachment a week later.

In 152 years, Trump is also expected to become the first outgoing president not to join his successor at the opening ceremony.

As of Monday, more than 24 million cases of Covid-19 had been reported by the US, with almost 400,000 deaths.

Publish : 2021-01-19 16:47:00

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