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Trump ending COVID-19 travel ban on Europe, Brazil; Biden expected to reverse it

Trump imposed the restrictions early in the pandemic, but the Biden administration says this isn't the time to lift them.

President Donald Trump, set to leave office in less than 48 hours, is lifting pandemic travel restrictions for Europe and Brazil, but he is leaving them in place on China and Iran. President-elect Joe Biden's team is already indicating Biden will nix the order before it goes into effect.

Trump imposed the restrictions early in the pandemic to slow the spread of the coronavirus to the U.S. They prevented most people without American citizenship or residency from traveling to the U.S. from the affected regions.

The restrictions end Jan. 26, when a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requirement that all international travelers to the United States obtain a negative virus test result within three days of flying to the U.S.

Trump says he is keeping the China and Iran restrictions in place because of “their lack of transparency, and their lack of cooperation with the United States thus far in combatting the pandemic.”

Jen Psaki, who will be White House press secretary when Biden takes office, said on Twitter Monday that with more contagious variants showing up around the world, 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."

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