United States Will Not Lift International Travel Restrictions Due to COVID-19 Delta Variant Concerns
The White House confirmed today that the United States will not be lifting any travel restrictions “at this point” due to concerns about the rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant.
“Given where we are today … with the Delta variant, we will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. “Driven by the Delta variant, cases are rising here at home, particularly among those who are unvaccinated and appear likely continue to increase in the weeks ahead.”
Currently, most non-U.S. citizens who have been to the United Kingdom, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran, Brazil, or the 26 Schengen nations in Europe without internal border controls are barred from entering the U.S.
The U.S. Homeland Security Department confirmed last week that the borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed to nonessential travel until August 21 at least. Canada said it would allow fully vaccinated tourists from the U.S. starting August 9.
COVID-19 cases have been on the rise recently, especially in Orange County, Florida, home of Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. Currently, 20% of U.S. COVID-19 cases are in Florida.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky reported on Thursday that the seven-day average of new cases in the U.S. was up 53% from the previous week. The Delta variant comprises more than 80% of the country’s cases.