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the coronavirus crisis

Biden to reinstate COVID-19 travel restrictions

President Biden will soon reinstate COVID-19 travel restrictions on most non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, and 26 European countries that allow travel across open borders, a senior U.S. public health official told Reuters on Sunday.

During his last days in office, former President Donald Trump lifted the restrictions on Europe and Brazil, effective Tuesday, and Biden's order rescinds this. Additionally, Biden is adding South Africa to the list, due to the spread of a new COVID-19 variant in the country that is 50 percent more infectious.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's principal deputy director, told Reuters the agency is "putting in place this suite of measures to protect Americans and also reduce the risk of these variants spreading and worsening the current pandemic." Because there are "more contagious variants emerging," Schuchat added, "it's not the time to lift restrictions on international travel."