The United States will be keeping some of its travel restrictions in place, citing the delta variant as one of the reasons.
As reported by The Hill, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday, “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 are rising here at home particularly among those who are unvaccinated and appear likely to continue in the weeks ahead,” she said.
“The CDC just advised Americans against travel to the United Kingdom this past Monday given the surge in cases. They will evaluate and make recommendations based on health data,” Psaki added.
As the New York Post reported, NPR reporter Ayesha Rascoe of NPR asked Psaki, “The Delta variant is already dominant in the US, so how does keeping people from foreign countries out protect people in the US?”
“I’m not a doctor or a medical expert. I think that that would best be posed to a member of the CDC or one of our doctors,” Psaki said. “But I think their decision was made based on the fact that the Delta variant is more transmissible and is spreading around the world. Yes, it is the dominant variant here in the United States, but that doesn’t mean that having more people who have the Delta variant is the right step.”
The move comes after European countries have taken somewhat opposite action.
As USA Today reported last month, “The European Union on Friday added the U.S. to a list of countries for which travel restrictions should gradually be lifted. The list applies to all American tourists, vaccinated or not, for nonessential travel.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), travelers are prevented from coming into the United States from several countries except for certain exceptions. The countries include China, Iran, European Schengen area, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, and India.
As The Daily Wire reported, last week the United States announced that land border closures between the U.S. and Mexico and the U.S. and Canada will be extended, barring non-essential travel while officials continue to weigh options.
As reported by USA Today, “U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada will remain closed through Aug. 21, according to documents to be published in the Federal Register. The previous U.S. border restrictions were set to end Thursday.”
“Restrictions on entry into the U.S. by land and ferry travel are extended until 11:59 p.m. Aug. 21, according to the notices,” the outlet added.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the limitations have been extended again in order to limit the COVID-19 spread, which includes the delta variant.
“DHS is in constant contact with Canadian and Mexican counterparts to identify the conditions under which restrictions may be eased safely and sustainably,” DHS said in a statement Wednesday per USA Today by spokesperson Angelo Fernández.
Canada announced last week that it would be reopening its border for nonessential travel to fully vaccinated Americans on August 9th with “[o]ther foreign nationals will be permitted to enter beginning September 7,” as reported by The Daily Wire.
Last week, Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice president of public affairs for the U.S. Travel Association trade group, said in a statement, “Canada made the right call in releasing a timeline for vaccinated Americans to cross the land border and visit, and it is past time that the U.S. reciprocates.”
“There is no difference between a fully vaccinated Canadian and a fully vaccinated American,” Barnes added.
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