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Biden Reinstates Travel Ban on Europe, UK, Ireland & Brazil

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President Joe Biden is expected to reinstate travel restrictions on foreign nationals entering the US from Brazil, UK, Ireland and the majority of Europe.

The initial travel restrictions for the region were set to be lifted by former President Trump’s proclamation during his final days in office.

Biden is also projected to sign a new travel ban on Monday to prevent most foreign nationals which were recently in South Africa from entering the country. 

Laguardia airport tower New York

The restrictions are likely to be placed due to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to limit exposure and transmission of COVID-19 and newly emerging variants of the virus. 

Brazil, UK, EU Travel Ban

During the commencement of the pandemic, restrictions for travel were placed on foreign nationals that had been in 26 countries in Europe in the previous 14 days, and the travel ban was later extended to the UK, Ireland and Brazil. 

travelers in London England masks pandemic

Despite pleas from airlines, governments and travelers from the affected regions, the travel ban endured for the remainder of 2020 and carried over into the current year.

With the implementation of the CDC’s mandatory testing requirements for international arrivals by air, former President Trump positioned to eventually end the travel ban through a Presidential proclamation. 

travelers Rome airport

The move by Trump will ultimately not come into fruition, as new President Biden will rescind the order and reinstate the travel ban for the indefinite future. 

New Travel Ban on South Africa

South Africa will be joining the list of countries restricted from travel to the US.

The restrictions are being implemented to curtail the exposure of a coronavirus variant which is prevalent in South Africa.

travelers in South Africa masks

In an interview with Reuters, CDC Principal Deputy Director, Dr. Anne Schuchat stated:

“We are adding South Africa to the restricted list because of the concerning variant present that has already spread beyond South Africa. {…} putting in place this suite of measures to protect Americans and also to reduce the risk of these variants spreading and worsening the current pandemic.”

traveler sanitizing on flight during pandemic

The South African variant of COVID-19 is believed to be more infectious and has been confirmed to be exposed in at least 20 countries.

In addition, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, recently revealed in a White House press briefing that the two approved and available vaccines in the US are less effective in combating the new strains of the virus. 

CDC, Biden Assertive on Travel

Following President Biden’s taking of office, an aggressive approach to combatting COVID-19 is being pursued by his administration as well as by the CDC.

In addition to mandatory testing, the forthcoming travel ban on South Africa and reinstatement of the travel ban on much of Europe and Brazil, the US will also now be requiring all international arrivals to quarantine.

The CDC is also expected to sign an order requiring all travelers on flights and other forms of public transportation to wear masks as part of a federal law.  

netherlands covid bench train station

As well, the CDC is now declining to grant temporary waivers to airlines for exemption of testing requirements for travelers returning from countries with limited testing capacities. 

Given the rate of transmission of COVID-19 in the country, as well as newly emerging strains, the CDC believes the relaxation of travel restrictions is not feasible.  

The CDC’s Dr. Anne Schuchat elaborated on this, stating:

“With the pandemic worsening and these more contagious variants emerging it’s not the time to lift restrictions on international travel.”

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


Wednesday 27th of January 2021

Exactly, here in Europe it's one big covid mess... so I'm not traveling until 2022 for sure. Wearing a facemask on a plane or train and not being able to eat or drink out doesn't feel like a relaxed trip anyway.


Tuesday 26th of January 2021

Haha, as if only in the US it's not allowed to travel... In Europe there's also a travel ban, no president can change that because the pandemic is found in the whole wide world you know ;-). And it seems that in the US covid is not at all under control is it? Do you really need to travel by plane in order to be happy? Oh my, we're all so spoiled :-(. US is such a big country, just take the bike and explore your own beautiful environment!

Vinny the Adventurer

Tuesday 26th of January 2021

Despite all the European lockdowns, you do not have it “under control” either and several EU countries have a higher fatality rate than the US. Furthermore, I’ve traveled safely across country and abroad 4 times the past 10 months. Finally, speak only for yourself and not a country of 330 million people.


Monday 25th of January 2021

This Biden buyers remorse is kicking in alot faster than I thought it would. Y’all have no one to blame, but yourselves.


Monday 25th of January 2021

Meanwhile Biden halted all deportation of illegals that recently came into the country. He wants them released right away! No concerns of them bringing Covid in?! Yet he is banning travel.

Stephen White

Monday 25th of January 2021

Looks like the Biden administration is putting the death knell on all travel. Americans effectively can't travel abroad and foreigners can't come here (with a handful of exceptions). If you voted for Biden, this is on you. I'm going to start polling the businesses I frequent and stop buying from those who supported Biden.