Dr. Rochelle Walensky, incoming director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Tuesday that she doesn’t expect coronavirus-related travel restrictions to be lifted. If anything, she said, they may be tightened.
“If you look at the fatalities of 400,000 that we’re likely to hit today, if you look at our cases across this country, I don’t think now is the time to encourage people to get on international flights, to encourage people to mobilize,” Walensky said on “Good Morning America.”
“I think now is the time to really buckle down, double down our efforts,” she said. “So, I don’t expect that we will be lifting travel restrictions, and if anything, I think we can expect that they might tighten, especially in the context of variants that we’re hearing about.”
On Monday, the White House released text from a new executive order by President Trump lifting coronavirus-related travel restrictions imposed on Brazil and much of Europe starting on January 26.
The incoming Biden administration countered the move, saying the order would not be implemented. Incoming press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted “with the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel.”
Psaki added, “On the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26. In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of Covid-19.”