Just in case the political climate in the US wasn’t terrifying enough, President Donald Trump has decided to lift travel restrictions for people who have recently been in much of Europe and Brazil.
Trump signed an order on Monday local time lifting the travel restrictions effective 26 January, according to Reuters.
However, spokeswoman for President-elect Joe Biden, Jen Psaki, said in a tweet the administration plans to extend the restrictions after his inauguration on 20 January.
On the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26. In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
— Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) January 19, 2021
Trump’s order is set to come into play the same day as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order requiring a negative COVID-19 test to all passengers entering the US.
“Testing before and after travel is a critical layer to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19,” the CDC said in a statement.
“Variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus continue to emerge in countries around the world, and there is evidence of increased transmissibility of some of these variants.
“With the US already in surge status, the testing requirement for air passengers will help slow the spread of the virus as we work to vaccinate the American public.”
The new requirement includes the CDC’s recommendation to get tested again three to five days after arrival, and stay home for seven days post-travel.
“Testing does not eliminate all risk,” CDC director Robert Redfield said.
“But, when combined with a period of staying at home and everyday precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer, healthier and more responsible by reducing spread on planes, in airports and at destinations.”
Featured image source: iStock/HAKINMHAN