President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on Jan. 18 lifting the CCP virus travel ban for most of Europe, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Brazil. The proclamation makes clear that travel restrictions will remain in place for China and Iran.
Trump in March 2020 issued travel bans for foreign nationals from the Schengen Area of Europe, and later to the United Kingdom and Ireland, if they have been within those areas in the prior 14 days. In May 2020, he ordered a similar travel ban for Brazil. Trump’s latest order, effective Jan. 26, will terminate the travel bans.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Jan. 12 issued an order that requires proof of a negative test or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, for all air passengers coming from abroad to the United States. The order takes effect on Jan. 26.
Trump said that Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar “reports high confidence” that Europe’s Schengen Area, the UK, Ireland, and Brazil, will cooperate with the CDC’s order and that tests administered there will provide accurate results.
“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 president noted.
Trump added that both China’s and Iran’s responses to the CCP virus, their lack of transparency, and lack of cooperation with the United States, “cast doubt on their cooperation in implementing CDC’s January 12, 2021, order.”
Azar advised Trump that travel restrictions can be lifted for the Europe’s Schengen Area, the UK, Ireland, and Brazil, but should remain for China and Iran.
“I agree with the Secretary that this action is the best way to continue protecting Americans from COVID-19 while enabling travel to resume safely,” Trump said in his proclamation.
President-elect Joe Biden’s spokesperson said that Biden will block Trump’s order.
“With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel,” Biden’s incoming press secretary, Jen Psaki, said in a statement on Twitter.
“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,” she added.