Washington (AP) - The outgoing US President Donald Trump has ordered an end to the entry ban for foreigners from large parts of Europe - but the future government of his successor Joe Biden does not want to implement the order.
A Trump ruling circulated by the White House said the restrictions on travelers from the Schengen area, Great Britain and Ireland and Brazil would be lifted on January 26.
Trump pointed out that from this date on, proof of a negative corona test would be required on all international flights to the USA before departure.
Trump's term of office ends this Wednesday with Biden's swearing-in.
Trump's measure would not take effect until six days later.
«On the advice of our medical team, the government does not intend to end these restrictions on January 26th.
The future White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Twitter: "With the pandemic worsening and more contagious variants appearing around the world, this is not the time to lift restrictions on international travel."
Instead, the Biden government is planning further measures related to international travel to curb the spread of the virus.
Biden has made the fight against the coronavirus one of its most important immediate goals.
The pandemic remains out of control in the US.
Since the first case became known about a year ago, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University, more than 24 million coronavirus infections have been detected in the USA.
Around 400,000 people died after being infected.
Trump had imposed the entry ban for foreigners in mid-March because of the rapid spread of the corona virus in several European countries.
Currently, travelers from the Schengen area, Great Britain and Ireland are not allowed to enter the USA with a few exceptions.
Trump had also issued strict entry bans for foreigners from China and Iran - these should remain in place after his new order.
Most recently, Trump introduced extensive entry restrictions for people from Brazil.
Travel across the US border to the neighboring countries Canada in the north and Mexico in the south are also restricted because of the pandemic.
The US health authority CDC announced last week that a negative corona test will be mandatory for flights to the USA from January 26th.
The regulation will apply to all international flights to the USA, regardless of the place of departure and the citizenship or visa of the travelers.
The order also applies to Americans who are exempt from the entry bans imposed by Trump.
If a passenger cannot prove a negative test result or a survived Covid infection, “the airline must refuse boarding”, the message said.
The so-called PCR test, with which the virus is to be detected, must therefore be carried out in the three days before departure.
The health authority also urges all travelers to retest three to five days after arriving in the United States and to stay at home seven days after the trip.
However, these are recommendations, not a legally binding provision.
CDC boss Robert Redfield had admitted when the measure was announced: "Tests do not eliminate every risk."
In combination with the other precautionary measures, travel becomes safer.
In view of the new and probably more contagious variant of the coronavirus, which has so far mainly spread in Great Britain, the USA has been demanding a negative corona test when entering from there since the end of December - which is possible for foreigners with a special permit.
Individual cases of the new variant have already been detected in numerous US states.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210119-99-78241 / 3