Biden bans most non-U.S. citizens from South Africa, extends Europe, UK and Brazil restrictions to curb Covid

Key Points
  • The Trump administration moved to lift Europe, Brazil travel restrictions before leaving office but the incoming Biden administration said it would reverse that decision.
  • President Biden also banned entry of most non-U.S. citizens traveling from South Africa.
Passengers arrive on a flight from London amid new restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at JFK International Airport in New York, December 21, 2020.
Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

President Joe Biden on Monday banned most non-U.S. citizens traveling from South Africa from entering the U.S. and extended travel restrictions for Europe, the U.K. and Brazil, in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19, particularly as new strains of the coronavirus are identified.

The measures, reported Sunday by CNBC, come as more contagious variants of the virus have spread.

Former President Donald Trump last week rescinded the entry bans on most non-U.S. citizens who had been in the U.K., Brazil or many countries in Europe, but then-President-elect Biden's spokeswoman said the new administration would quickly reverse that step.

Trump's decision to lift the rules was supposed to take effect Tuesday, when the U.S. will start requiring U.S.-bound travelers to show a recent, negative Covid test result before flying to the United States.

U.S. airlines had urged the Trump administration to replace travel bans with Covid testing requirements.