President Joe Biden has decided to reinstate travel restrictions for non-U.S. Passengers arriving in the United States from Brazil and Europe. At a press conference on Monday (25), White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed the Democrat would reimpose the measure Donald Trump overturned last week and added South Africa to the list of limitations.
The White House, however, has yet to release the executive order, which will be signed by Biden on Monday, with start dates and details of the procedure.
As a result, most non-US citizens who have spent the last 14 days in Brazil, South Africa, UK, Ireland and 26 European countries will not be able to enter the US – there are exceptions for diplomatic visas or those traveling for humanitarian, public health and national security reasons, for example.
Biden’s move was already overdue amid the emergence of new variants of the coronavirus, but it frustrated the Brazilian government, which hoped the Democrat would not once again ban Brazilian travelers from entering the United States.
Since the election campaign, Biden has said his priority has been to tackle the pandemic that has killed more than 410,000 Americans, and signed several executive orders on the subject when he started in government – the executive orders do not need approval. of Congress to enter. Force.
Last week, the new US president signed a measure requiring a negative test for Covid-19 and a seven-day quarantine for foreigners arriving in the United States, and many Brazilian diplomats believed it was already a hardening of the policy of the new government against the pandemic. – the Democrat, however, has narrowed the way further to countries where the situation is far from normalized.
“We are adding South Africa to the restriction list due to the disturbing variant [do coronavírus] which has already spread beyond South Africa, ”said Anne Schuchat, deputy director of the US Center for Disease Control and Protection (CDC).
According to the Reuters news agency, the expert added in an interview on Sunday (24) that all measures are being taken to “protect Americans and also reduce the risk of these variants spreading and worsening the pandemic current “.
Some health officials fear the current vaccines may not be effective against the newer variants of the coronavirus and have taken extra precautions.
The United States leads the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths globally and the country is expected to hit the grim mark of half a million deaths next month.
On January 18, the day before his departure, Trump lifted travel restrictions on non-Americans arriving in the United States from Brazil and Europe.
According to the Republican’s decision, passengers could enter the United States from January 26, provided they present a test with a negative result for Covid-19 carried out up to 72 hours before the trip.
Minutes after Trump’s announcement, Biden’s spokeswoman said the new government had no plans to lift the restrictions – the Democrat would take office in less than 48 hours.
“Following the advice of our medical team, the government has no plans to lift these restrictions on 1/26. In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel to further mitigate the spread. of Covid-19, “Biden’s assistant wrote on Twitter.
For this, the new government would have to re-impose a blockade on the entry of travelers – as happened on Monday.
Much like the United States, Europe and Brazil have seen new peaks in the number of Covid-19 cases in recent weeks, and several European, American and Brazilian countries, like São Paulo, have once again adopted restrictions for trying to contain a new wave of disease.
Trump banned the entry of foreigners from China on January 31, 2020, still at the start of the pandemic, when the Asian country was the epicenter of the crisis. The following month, he added Iran to the list and, in March, extended the restrictions to people in the Schengen zone, the UK and Ireland.
The restriction on the entry of travelers from Brazil was imposed at the end of May. While the European bloc still restricts the entry of Americans, the UK and Ireland are asking for two weeks of isolation. Brazil has no restrictions for those arriving from the United States.