The White House has decided to maintain existing coronavirus travel restrictions amid surging cases triggered by the Delta variant, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.
“We will keep the existing travel restrictions in place at this point for a few purposes. The more easily transmitted Delta variant is spreading here and all over the globe. The Delta variant is driving cases here at home, especially among unvaccinated people. This trend will likely continue for the next few weeks,” Psaki said to reporters at a White House briefing.
Travel industry and US allies are increasing pressure on the Biden administration to lift restrictions from the pandemic-era that limit who can travel to America.
Psaki stated that for any of these recommendations, “we are always going to follow our North Star, which is the (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and our health and medical specialists.”
Psaki added: “It would actually surprise and odd if health and medical professionals were not having… an active conversation about how to… best protect the American people.”
“And there is of course an active discussion about the range of steps that could be taken, as it has been since the beginning of this administration. Psaki stated that the Delta variant’s rise in cases of unvaccinated children prompts more discussion about the best actions to take.
The White House repeatedly stated that decisions regarding international travel openings would be made by medical and public health experts.
Biden’s top officials created interagency working teams last month with Canada, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico and the European Union to examine how and when border restrictions and travel would be removed. These groups are managed by the White House Covid-19 Response team and the National Security Council and include representatives of the CDC and officials from the Departments of State, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Transportation.
Psaki also referred to the CDC’s recent warning against travel to the United Kingdom because of a rise in cases.