On Monday, the White House confirmed that the U.S. will not be lifting its travel restrictions due to concerns about the spread of the delta variant. Reuters was the first to report this news. This highly transmissible variant is now responsible for about 83 percent of Covid cases across the nation and it has been responsible for creating the new surge in cases.
White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said that they would maintain “existing travel restrictions at this point” due to the surge in cases as a result of the spread of the delta variant across the nation and the world. She also said that cases were rising in the U.S., mainly among the unvaccinated and that they would most likely keep on increasing in the following weeks.
The U.S. has already restricted non-U.S. citizens who have traveled to the following countries within the last 14 days:
- Europe (26 Schengen nations)
- South Africa
Last week, the Homeland Security announced that land borders with Canada and Mexico would continue to remain closed until August 21, though Canada had said that fully vaccinated American tourists could enter the country from August 8.
When President Biden had met German Chancellor Angela Merkel, she had asked for reciprocity in travel between Europe and the U.S. He said that the decision would be taken soon. Cases have soared since their meeting at the White House.
The White House has acknowledged the need to unite separated families. It has also been reportedly exploring options with airlines to facilitate international travel with a possible mandatory vaccine status. It has also reportedly spoken about contact tracing and more with airlines before it would consider lifting restrictions according to sources familiar with the matter.
On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised Americans against traveling to the United Kingdom as the country is also seeing a surge in cases of COVID-19 caused by the delta variant, which is considered to be a hyper transmissible variant.
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