The United States will not lift any existing travel restrictions “at this point” due to concerns over the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant and the rising number of U.S. coronavirus cases, the White House confirmed on Monday.
The decision comes after a senior level White House meeting late on Friday. It means that the long-running travel restrictions that have barred much of the world’s population from the United States since 2020 will not be lifted in the short term.
“Given where we are today … with the Delta variant, we will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday, citing the spread of the Delta variant in the United States and abroad.
NBC News reports:
Last Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised Americans against travel to the United Kingdom, given the surge of cases there. The U.S. currently bars entry for most noncitizens who within the last 14 days have been in the U.K., European Union nations, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil.
The surge in cases involving the “hypertransmissible” variant was not unexpected. Such infections had been predicted to double every few weeks. On June 19, the delta variant accounted for just over 30 percent of new cases. On July 3, it crossed the 50 percent threshold to become the dominant variant in the U.S.
NEW: The US will not lift foreign travel restrictions due to concerns over the rise in Covid-19 delta variant cases, according to a White House official. https://t.co/tAvIGa8KD9
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 26, 2021