President Donald Trump on Monday announced that Wuhan coronavirus travel restrictions to a number of countries would be lifted. The ban on travel from Brazil, Ireland, and the United Kingdom would go into effect on Jan. 26 as part of a last minute executive order.
According to the president's executive order, the roll back stems from a new CDC policy announced last week that would require all travelers to provide a negative COVID-19 test. That policy, as well as cooperation from the UK, Brazil, and Ireland, is why Trump lifted the travel ban.
"Public health officials in the jurisdictions have a proven record of working with the United States to share accurate and timely COVID-19 testing and trend data, and the United States has active collaborations with the jurisdictions regarding how to make travel safe between our respective countries," the executive order stated. "As a result of that record, the Secretary reports high confidence that these jurisdictions will cooperate with the United States in the implementation of CDC's January 12, 2021, order and that tests administered there will yield accurate results."
A travel ban from China and Iran remain intact because of a lack of cooperation with U.S. officials and their overall handling of the pandemic.
"This cooperation stands in stark contrast to the behavior of the governments and state-owned enterprises of the People's Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Iran, which repeatedly have failed to cooperate with the United States public health authorities and to share timely, accurate information about the spread of the virus," the order explained. "Those jurisdictions' responses to the pandemic, their lack of transparency, and their lack of cooperation with the United States thus far in combatting the pandemic, cast doubt on their cooperation in implementing CDC's January 12, 2021, order."
The incoming-Biden administration, however, said the travel ban won't be happening.
Incoming-White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki took to Twitter to voice the Biden administration's disapproval of the move. In fact, she hinted at a potential expansion of the current travel bans.
With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel.— Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) January 19, 2021
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