The United States will not lift any existing travel restrictions due to concerns over the highly transmissible Covid-19 Delta variant and the rising number of US coronavirus cases, the White House confirmed on Monday. "we will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a daily briefing.
The announcement definitely dooms any bid by US airlines and the US tourism industry to salvage summer travel by Europeans and others covered by the restrictions. Airlines have heavily lobbied the White House for months to lift the restrictions and some say the industry may now have to wait until September or later for a possible revision. The federal administration has been under pressure from the travel industry and allies to lift these restrictions. The US currently bars entry for most non-citizens who within the last 14 days have been in Britain, the European Schengen area, Ireland, China, Iran, South Africa, Brazil, and India. It also keeps non-essential travel restrictions across its borders with Canada and Mexico.
The U.S. currently bars most non-US citizens who within the last 14 days have been in the U.K. the 26 Schengen nations in Europe without internal border controls, or in Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil. Last week, the US State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning against travelling to Britain due to the country's high level of Covid-19 cases.