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The White House considers the possibility of lifting part of the travel bans in the United States

The White House is considering lifting travel bans for most non-US citizens who have recently traveled to Brazil, the UK, Ireland and 26 other European countries. Reported by Reuters citing five US officials.

Photo: Shutterstock

The administration of US President Donald Trump introduced these bans to contain the spread of COVID-19. Now many of them want to cancel. At the same time, according to officials, the head of state is not considering the possibility of lifting the entry bans for people who have recently been to China or Iran.

The plan has received support from members of the White House coronavirus task force, health authorities and other federal agencies, a source informed on the matter said. But President Donald Trump has yet to make a final decision, and the timing remains uncertain.

Many administration officials argue that the restrictions no longer make sense, because most countries in the world are not subject to the travel ban. They argue that the lifting of the restrictions will be an incentive for US airlines, which, according to the industry, have cut international traffic by 70%.

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Trump could keep the restrictions in place given the high number of infections in Europe. One potential obstacle, officials said, is that European countries are unlikely to immediately allow most Americans to resume their visits.

European countries subject to US travel restrictions include 26 Schengen members that allow movement across open borders.

Restrictions prohibiting most visitors from Europe from entering the United States have been in effect since mid-March, and a ban on entry from Brazil was introduced in May. Trump first banned most non-US visitors from China on January 31, and then added Iran to the list in February.

Restrictions prohibit entry for most non-US residents who have traveled to these countries within the previous 14 days, but the US Department of State has provided some exemptions to allow European travelers associated with "humanitarian travel, public health, and national security" to enter the country ...

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The United States has approved exemptions for some European business travelers, investors, academics, students, and journalists.

Almost all of Europe still prohibits most US travelers from visiting countries, while the UK and Ireland allow but require two weeks of quarantine upon arrival. Brazil allows US travelers to enter their country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new travel and testing guidelines for international air travelers. He recommends that they "get tested for COVID-19 1-3 days before the flight to reduce the spread of the virus while traveling, and 3-5 days after the trip, test them and stay home for 7 days."

Airlines for America, a group representing American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines Holdings and others, among others, said it "advocates for the federal government to set a national testing standard and remove travel restrictions."

In a statement to Reuters, the group called the CDC's decision a step in the right direction and emphasized that they hope it will "be followed by recognition that testing can be used to open borders safely without quarantine."

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Some airlines and officials believe testing could be the key to restarting international travel. The United States has negotiated with several countries about possible passenger testing programs.

Asked about the prospects for lifting travel restrictions, a spokesman for the US Department of Transportation said that “the agency is ready to support the safe resumption of international flights to and from the US. These issues are under negotiation between the federal government, international partners and industry stakeholders. ”

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