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LatinNews Daily - 01 February 2021

Biden reinstates Brazil travel ban

Brazil: On 25 January US President Joe Biden issued an executive order that reinstated coronavirus (Covid-19)-related travel restrictions for Brazil, as well as other nations – such as the United Kingdom (UK), South Africa, and the 26 member states of Europe’s Schengen area – deemed high-risk for public health due to growing concerns over mutations of the virus. Besides mutations found in South Africa and the UK, the proclamation notes growing concerns regarding a novel strain traced to Brazil: “a third variant strain, which is known as B.1.1.28.1 and may impact the potential for re-infection, can be found in Brazil”. According to Biden, the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has “concluded that continued and further measures are required to protect the public health from travellers entering the United States from those jurisdictions”. The order follows the lifting of travel restrictions on the aforementioned areas issued by former US president Donald Trump (2017-2021), just two days before Biden’s inauguration on 20 January. In an executive order issued on 18 January, Trump stated that entrance of persons from certain regions – including Brazil – was “no longer detrimental to the interests of the United States”. However, in a press briefing held on 25 January, new White House press secretary Jen Psaki reaffirmed that “with the pandemic worsening and more (…) contagious variants spreading, this isn’t the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel”

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