In its latest advisories, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended avoiding travel to Spain and Portugal, two popular destinations for American tourists, due to growing cases of COVID-19. Representative image
In view of surging cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19, the United States on July 26 said that it would maintain restrictions on international travel into the country.
"We will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
“Driven by the delta variant, cases are rising here at home, particularly among those who are unvaccinated, and appears likely to continue in the weeks ahead,” she said.
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US had in July eased travel advisory for India, lowering it from the highest Level 4, which means no travel, to Level 3, which urges citizens to reconsider travel.
In its latest advisories, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended avoiding travel to Spain and Portugal, two popular destinations for American tourists, due to growing cases of COVID-19.
The United States issued the same guidance for Cyprus, a week after also recommending against travel to Britain, the top international destination for US travellers after Mexico and Canada in 2019.
Asked how travel restrictions would help, Psaki said, "Yes, it is the dominant variant in the United States. That doesn't mean that having more people who have the Delta variant is the right step."
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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 travellers 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 bare season.
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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.
The United States makes widespread exceptions including for students, scholars, journalists and businesspeople, but European leaders have complained that the regulations inconvenience ordinary people and hinder transatlantic trade.
(With inputs from agencies)