The White House announced on Monday that International travel restrictions would not be lifted due to the rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant worldwide.
While the Biden administration recognizes the importance of international travel, COVID-19 cases are rising in the United States, and that’s likely to continue in the coming weeks, said the official who wasn’t authorized to discuss the issue, the Associated Press reported.
“We will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point for a few reasons. The more transmissible delta variant is spreading both here and around the world,” Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, said.
“Driven by the delta variant, cases are rising here at home, particularly among those who are vaccinated and appear likely to continue in the weeks ahead.”
The delta variant now accounts for about 83% of cases nationwide and has led to a spike in U.S. COVID-19 cases. In the last two weeks, cases have increased 171% nationally, and the death rate is up 19% over the week before.
The CDC just advised Americans against travel to the United Kingdom this past Monday, given the surge in cases. “They will evaluate and make recommendations based on health data,” Psaki said.
The Department of Homeland Security announced last week that it would continue to keep its borders closed, extending the date until August 21, 2021.
President Joe Biden is urging Americans to get vaccinated. He set a goal to have 70% of United States citizens vaccinated by the Fourth of July but missed his mark.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 70% of adults in America have received one dose of the vaccine.
Travel restrictions were put in place after the COVID-19 virus spread in high numbers across the globe.