The White House confirmed Monday that because of the surge in cases from the Delta variant, the existing travel restrictions for international travel will remain in place.
“We will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point for a few reasons. The more transmissible Delta variant is spreading both here and around the world, driven by the Delta variant cases that are rising here at home, particularly among those who are unvaccinated and appear likely to continue in the weeks ahead,” said Psaki.
Psaki said the decision was due to a rise in infections among the unvaccinated with the Delta variant’s high rate of transmissibility and a recent advisory against travel to the United Kingdom.
“The CDC (Center for Disease Control) just advised Americans against traveled to the United Kingdom this past Monday, given the surge in cases. They will evaluate and make recommendations based on health data.”
The first round of pandemic-related travel restrictions was imposed by the United States on China in January 2020. Since then, the U.S. travel ban has expanded to include non-U.S. citizens coming from the UK, Europe, Brazil, Ireland, India, Iran, and South Africa.
In addition, anyone arriving in the United States including American citizens and fully vaccinated people, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the United States
Canada recently announced that vaccinated Americans would be allowed to visit starting on August 9, but the United States said it will keep its restrictions on non-essential travel with both border countries, Canada and Mexico, until at least Aug. 21.
In mid-July CDC director Rochelle Walensky said that the weekly average for new infections had jumped by 53 percent in the previous week. It comes days after she said that the highly contagious Delta variant now accounts for 80 percent of all U.S. cases.