United Kingdom

Trump 'to lift COVID-19 travel restrictions on Europe, UK and Brazil'

Donald Trump will rescind entry travel for most non-U.S. citizens who recently were in the UK, Brazil and much of Europe starting on January 26, two officials said Monday. 

Reuters first reported in November that the administration had been considering lifting the restrictions, imposed early last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, after winning support from coronavirus task force members and public health officials.

The restrictions are set to end under a new proclamation from Trump the same day that new COVID-19 test requirements take effect for all international visitors. The White House did not immediately comment.

The restrictions have barred nearly all non-U.S. citizens who within the last 14 days have been in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the 26 countries of the Schengen area in Europe that allow travel across open borders.

The U.S. restrictions barring most visitors from Europe have been in place since mid-March, while the Brazilian entry ban was imposed in May.

The Trump administration imposed the bans in a bid to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed an order requiring nearly all air travelers to present a negative coronavirus test or proof of recovery from COVID-19 to enter the United States starting on Jan. 26.

Airlines had hoped the new testing requirements would clear the way for the administration to lift the restrictions that reduced travel from some European countries by 95% or more.

They pressed senior White House officials about the issue in recent days.

Reuters previously reported the White House was not considering lifting entry bans on most non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in China or Iran. (Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Howard Goller)

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