The US President-Elect, Joe Biden, is set to reimpose travel restrictions to Europe once in office.
President Trump signed an order Monday (January 18) lifting the restrictions he imposed early last year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, effective January 26.
Biden, once in office, has the legal authority to reimpose the restrictions.
Soon after Mr. Trump’s order was made public, a spokeswoman for the President-elect Jen Psaki tweeted: “on the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on January 26.”
She added: “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 is currently for the restrictions to end on January 26, the same day that new Covid-19 test requirements take effect for all international visitors.
The US restrictions barring most visitors from Europe have been in place since mid-March when Mr. Trump signed proclamations imposing them, however Ms. Psaki added that: “in fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of Covid-19.”
Airlines had hoped that the new testing requirements would clear the way for the administration to lift the restrictions that reduced travel from some European countries by 95% or more and had pressed senior White House officials about the issue in recent days.