The United States will maintain existing restrictions on international travel, despite requests for reciprocity from the European Union.
“We are going to maintain the existing restrictions,” said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Monday, justifying this decision, mainly, by the rapid spread of the Delta variant.
In early July, President Joe Biden said his administration was “in the process” of considering in how long the country could lift the ban of European trips to the United States, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel raised the issue during her visit to the White House.
According to an official consulted by the AP agency who was not authorized to comment publicly, although the administration understands the importance of international travel, cases are increasing in the United States, particularly among those who are not vaccinated, and will likely continue to rise in the coming weeks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised Americans not to travel to the UK last Monday, due to the increase in cases in that country.
Most of continental Europe has relaxed restrictions on Americans who are fully vaccinated, although the UK continues to require quarantines for most visitors arriving from the US.
Airlines say, however, that the lack of round-trip travel is limiting the number of flights they can offer and the seats they can sell.
But the rise and prevalence of COVID-19 variants in Europe, especially the Delta mutation that is also spreading across the United States, has caused the Biden administration to move with caution in increasing transatlantic travel.
With information from the AP and AFP agencies