White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on July 26, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)
The United States said Monday it would maintain restrictions on international travel into the country, sidestepping European pressure, as cases rise of the Covid-19 Delta variant.
“We will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.
“The more transmissible Delta variant is spreading both here and abroad,” she said.
She said the trend of rising cases appeared likely to continue “in the weeks ahead,” although she repeated that it mostly affected unvaccinated people.
The United States has restricted travel from the European Union, Britain, China and Iran for more than a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, later adding other countries including Brazil and India.
The European Union in June opened up to travelers from the United States, typically requiring proof of vaccination or negative tests, under pressure from tourism-dependent nations such as Greece, Spain and Italy that feared another troubled year.
EU leaders have asked the United States to show reciprocity and President Joe Biden on July 15 said he would have an answer on the issue “within the next several days” after appeals by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.