Jen Psaki, Press Secretary to President-elect Joe Biden, has debunked the announcement made by Donald Trump on Monday that a COVID-19 ban on travellers arriving from Europe and Brazil would be lifted.
Psaki in a tweet disclosed that “On the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26.”
She said “In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel.”
Prior to Psaki’ s tweet, President Donald Trump announced that he would lift travel ban on Europe and Brazil, while travel bans for China and Iran remain in place.
He added that “This action is the best way to continue protecting Americans from COVID-19 while enabling travel to resume safely.”
Biden’s and Trump’s statements were released days after the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention announced that all air passengers bound for the U.S will be required to test negative for COVID-19 within three days of their departure.
The test policy will take effect on January 26, and expands on a previous testing rule that targeted Britain and came into effect in December, following the emergence of a coronavirus variant believed to be more transmissible.
Some epidemiologists have warned it is likely that new, more transmissible variants are already establishing themselves in the United States, the hardest-hit country in the world by the pandemic.
Amidst the alarming rate of the new variant of COVID-19, Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday in the US.