President Joe Biden has reinstated the ban on non-US citizens who are entering the United States from Europe and Brazil, adding South Africa to the list as well. Travelers who have been to the 26-countries Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Brazil within a two-week period remain barred from entry into the US.
Arrivals from South Africa have also been included in the restrictions as well. The restrictions, which go into effect Saturday, Jan. 30, are in response to a growing number of COVID-19 cases attributable to new and potentially more infectious variants of the virus discovered in the UK and South Africa.
Biden’s executive order signed Monday rescinds an earlier order signed by former President Donald Trump in the waning hours of his administration that would have ended those entry restrictions, after a White House panel recommended in December the ban be dropped.
With the White House move, the travel restrictions continue even as new CDC rules take effect requiring all inbound airline passengers over the age of 2 years to show negative COVID-19 test results or proof of recovery from COVID-19 before they commence their travel to the US.
The Trump administration imposed the restrictions on most visitors from Europe in mid-March; the ban on Brazilian travelers was imposed in May. The restrictions mean most non-US citizens who have been in one of those countries – now including South Africa – within the last 14 days will be denied travel into the US.
Under the restrictions, permanent US residents and family members are permitted to return to the United States, as are certain non-citizens.