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Biden to reimpose COVID-19 travel ban that Trump lifted in final days

Biden vows to improve COVID-19 response
Biden administration vows to improve coronavirus response 02:26

President Joe Biden will reimpose the COVID-19 travel ban that former President Trump had lifted with less than 48 hours left in his presidency, two White House officials confirmed to CBS News. Mr. Biden is expected to reinstate the ban on Monday.

The ban will apply to all non-American travelers reentering the U.S. from Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland and 26 countries in Europe. There will also be travel restrictions on non-Americans entering the U.S. from South Africa.

The travel ban news was first reported by Reuters

On January 18, the Trump administration announced that it would be lifting some of the travel ban restrictions that were put in effect in March. Effective January 26, the Trump administration said it would be removing restrictions on travel from Brazil, the U.K. Ireland and parts of Europe. Restrictions on Iran and China would remain in place under the Trump administration ban.

Mr. Trump cited coordination with U.S. officials and transparency as the justification for lifting travel restrictions on Europe and Brazil.  

Biden White House press secretary Jen Psaki immediately tweeted that the incoming administration did not intend to abide by the change.

"With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel," Psaki wrote.

The White House official with direct knowledge of the action also said Sunday that the Centers for Disease Control will not consider granting temporary waivers to airlines to exempt countries with limited COVID testing capacity. CDC officials will consider case-by-case humanitarian exemptions.  

A White House official also confirmed to CBS News that CDC director Rochelle Walensky will sign a separate order on Monday that will require masks on all airplanes, trains, subways, ferries, buses and ride share services like Uber and Lyft.   

Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.

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