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Biden to Block Plan to Lift Travel Restrictions

Biden to Block Plan to Lift Travel Restrictions

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will extend the travel ban on incoming passengers from Europe and Brazil, despite President Trump’s announcement that the ban would be lifted from January 26.

President Trump signed and order on Monday, January 18, announcing that the restrictions he imposed last March on travellers from Europe – including Ireland – would be lifted effective January 26 (six days after he has left office), but a spokeswoman for President-elect Biden tweeted soon thereafter, “on the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26.”

She also said, “with the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel.”

President Trump’s order had been supported by coronavirus task force members and public health officials, and was timed to coincide with new orders, signed by the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, requiring all air passengers to present a negative Covid test or proof of recovery from the virus for entry into the United States from January 26.

Airlines had hoped that the new requirements for a negative test would clear the way toward lifting restrictions, but it looks like they’ll have to wait longer for that to happen.

One ban that will be rescinded, however, is the ban on immigration to the United States from 13 mostly Muslim countries, which Trump introduced when he took office in 2017. According to multiple reports, President-elect Biden will end the ban by signing an executive order, thereby cancelling Trump’s own executive order that brought the ban into effect.

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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