Donald Trump and Joe Biden have taken very different approaches to Covid (Picture: Getty/EPA)
Mr Trump hoped to relax the rules on flights from the UK, much of mainland Europe and Brazil, but his successor’s administration will reverse that plan before it can come into force over coronavirus fears. An order from the current President meant those rules would expire on January 26 – six days after Mr Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, but it was shut down within minutes by the incoming White House Press Secretary.
In fact Mr Biden – who has long been seen as far tougher on Covid than Mr Trump – will instead strenghten the restrictions.
Bans on most European countries had been in place from the USA since March, while Brazilians had been restricted from travelling to the US since May.
However soon after the order was announced, Mr. Biden’s spokesperson, Jen Psaki, wrote on Twitter: ‘With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel.
‘On the advice of our medical, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on January 26. In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of Covid-19. ‘
Mr Trump had signed the order on Monday to lift the restrictions, after winning support from coronavirus task force members and public health officials.
US President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday (Picture: AFP)
It would have come into force, as new Covid-19 test requirements take effect for all international visitors.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said most plane passengers arriving in the US from that date will have to show a negative Covid-19 test or prove they have recovered from the disease to enter.
But Mr Biden, who has said dealing with the pandemic is a priority, will have been in post for a week by that point and will not lift the regional restrictions on air travellers.
The previous rules had barred most non-US citizens who had been in the UK, Brazil and European countries in the Schengen area from entering the US.
Mr Trump’s order had said travel bans for China and Iran would remain.
Under Mr Trump’s regime, the USA has recorded the most Covid-19 deaths of any country in the world, and recently passed 400,000 fatalities.
Meanwhile, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says her country’s travel ban will apply to Mr Trump, amid speculation that the outgoing President is planning an overseas golf trip during Mr Biden’s inauguration.
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