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U.S. Removes Travel Ban For UK, Schengen, Ireland and Brazil

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The White House formally announced the end of a travel ban that restricted entry into the USA from certain countries. 

Starting at midnight on January 26, 2021, the travel ban will officially be lifted for travelers coming from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Schengen area countries and Brazil. 

However, the new presidential proclamation comes with its fair share of both controversy and opposition. Biden will be moving into office on Wednesday and is expected to reverse the decision and implement even tighter restrictions on international travel. 

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The removal of the travel ban of visitors from the UK, Ireland, Schengen area, and Brazil coincides with the implementation of new COVID-19 testing requirements for all international arrivals by air to the U.S., announced by the CDC. 

Starting January 26, 2021, all arrivals into the USA, including citizens returning, will have to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test, or proof of recent recovery from the virus, before being allowed to enter.

travelers at airoprt wearing masks boarding flight

Trumps Removes Ban On UK Ireland, Brazil and Schengen Area

Trump stated in his Presidential Proclamation dated January 18, 2021, that people who have been in the UK, Ireland, Brazil, and Schengen Area are “no longer detrimental to the interests of the United States and find that it is in the interest of the United States to terminate the suspension of entry into the United States of persons who have been physically present in those jurisdictions.”

Travel wearing mask

New U.S. Testing Requirement

The Secretary of Health, Alex Azar advised Trump that the new mandatory testing policy put into place by the CDC will help to prevent air passengers originating from the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and the Federative Republic of Brazil from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 into the United States.

travelers waiting for flight during covid

While the updated proclamation effectively removes the temporary restrictions on entry for travelers from the UK, Ireland, Schengen area and Brazil, not all countries included in the original ban will have the same consideration.


Ban Will Stay In Place For China and Iran 

Trump stated that the Secretary has also advised on “leaving in place the restrictions applicable to the People’s Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Come January 26, 2021, the entry ban will still be in place for Iran and China. 

US traveler at airport wearing mask

“I agree with the Secretary that this action is the best way to continue protecting Americans from COVID-19 while enabling travel to resume safely,” declared Trump in the official White House statement. 

Biden Is Expected To Reverse The Order

Joe Biden, who will be moving into the White House on Wednesday, is expected to prevent and reverse Trump's decision. 

Biden's press secretary Jen Psaki said 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 team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26. In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

travelers with luggage and masks

If Biden's administration is not successful in reversing Trump's termination of proclamation 9993, entry will once again be possible for travelers from Europe and Brazil who've been separated for almost one full year due to travel bans. 

Travelers will have to fulfill the new requirement for entering the USA, which includes providing proof of either a negative PCR or Rapid Antigen type test, performed no longer than 72 hours before arrival.  The United States is also willing to accept proof of recent recovery from the Covid-19 virus in lieu of a test, but will not accept proof of vaccination at this time. 

british airways fleet


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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


Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Theres absolutely NO REASON WHATSOEVER to keep entire continents out if you make a test for some virus mandatory for entry. For China/Iran it’s obviously political and has exactly nothing to do with the virus, beyond that it’s just unacceptable and ridiculous. I’m very much not pro-Trump, but FFS get a grip,


Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Any ideas or rumors on what “stricter” policies on International travel means? We’ve just implemented needing a COVID test upon re-entry. Seems rather ominous and it would be good to know what Biden’s team plans on changing.


Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Lift the travel restriction days before ending his service, just for his successor to reverse it right back. Jezz... I thought we actually have ADULTS in the government.