President Joe Biden has issued a travel ban on South Africa, stopping most immigration to the United States from the country, and reinstated bans on Europe and Brazil to slow the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.
Biden, who once referred to President Trump’s travel ban on China as “hysterical xenophobic,” has issued a travel ban on South Africa as variants of the coronavirus spread in the country. Likewise, Biden has reinstated travel bans on Europe and Brazil, which Trump had ended after lobbying from the U.S. airline industry.
The bans will halt most immigration from South Africa, Europe, and Brazil, the order states [emphasis added]:
I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of noncitizens of the United States (“noncitizens”) who were physically present within the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom (excluding overseas territories outside of Europe), the Republic of Ireland, the Federative Republic of Brazil, and the Republic of South Africa during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.
Based on developments with respect to the variants and the continued spread of the disease, CDC has reexamined its policies on international travel and, after reviewing the public health situations within the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom (excluding overseas territories outside of Europe), the Republic of Ireland, the Federative Republic of Brazil, and the Republic of South Africa, has concluded that continued and further measures are required to protect the public health from travelers entering the United States from those jurisdictions.
The bans are in addition to those already in place on Iran and China, which experts said have immensely helped to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The World Health Organization (W.H.O.), reports revealed, sought to stop experts from recommending travel bans.
In a press conference on Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the Biden administration’s travel bans after previously suggesting Trump’s orders were rooted in xenophobia and racism.
“He also, though, has supported — and he himself, even before, or we did, I should say, even before he was inaugurated, steps, travel restrictions, in order to keep the American people safe to ensure that we are getting the pandemic under control,” Psaki said.
“That’s been part of his policy. But he was critical of the former president for having a policy that was not more comprehensive than travel restrictions,” Psaki continued. And he conveyed at the time, and more recently, the importance of having a multifaceted approach … not just travel restrictions.”