Biden won't lift international travel restrictions on Jan. 26, defying Trump

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President-elect Joe Biden does not intend to follow through on President Trump’s order to lift international travel restrictions on a number of countries later this month, incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.

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“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 on Twitter. “On the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26.

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“In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Psaki added.

Psaki addressed the Biden administration’s stance shortly after Trump issued an executive order lifting travel restrictions on the United Kingdom, Ireland, a group of 26 Europeans countries and Brazil effective Jan. 26. The travel restrictions were put in place in the early days of the pandemic in response to a spike in cases.

In his order, Trump noted that the restrictions would lift on the same day that a rule requiring that international travelers submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test takes effect. Reuters was first to report Trump’s decision.

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Trump said the order “is the best way to continue protecting Americans from COVID-19 while enabling travel to resume safely.”

Biden will be inaugurated as president on Wednesday. Trump said he will not attend the inauguration.

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