CDC Implements New EU Advisories as U.S. Says Travel Restrictions Will Remain Due to Delta Variant

·2 min read

The United States won't lift international travel restrictions just yet, citing the surging delta variant of the coronavirus, according to reports.

Currently, the U.S. restricts non-essential travel for non-U.S. citizens from several countries around the world, including from the United Kingdom, the European Union, Brazil, South Africa, China, and more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told The Associated Press that policy would continue for now.

Ronald Reagan airport
Ronald Reagan airport

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The move comes despite President Joe Biden saying earlier this month his administration was "in the process" of considering resuming travel between the U.S. and the EU. But it also follows the extension of the land border closure between the country, Canada, and Mexico, as well as warnings that Americans should "avoid" traveling to the UK, Spain, Portugal, and more.

When it comes to welcoming Americans, several countries in Europe and elsewhere have eased or are planning to ease restrictions. And Canada plans to welcome vaccinated U.S. tourists starting Aug. 9.

The U.S. is reporting more than 40,000 cases on a 7-day average and the delta variant makes up about 83.2% of recent cases in the country, according to the CDC. When it comes to vaccinations, 56.8% of all Americans have received at least one dose and 49.1% are fully vaccinated.

"If you look at the inflection of the curve of new cases… it is among the unvaccinated. And since we have 50% of the country is not fully vaccinated, that's a problem," Dr. Anthony Fauci said, appearing on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday. "So it really is... an issue predominantly among the unvaccinated, which is the reason why we're out there, practically pleading with the unvaccinated people to go out and get vaccinated."

Several areas around the country have recently brought back indoor mask mandates, including Los Angeles and Las Vegas, which has required employees wear face coverings indoors, but made them optional for visitors. A federal transportation mask mandate remains in place on airplanes, in airports, and on buses and trains and has been extended until at least Sept. 13.

Still, the U.S. Travel Association is urging the Biden administration to "revisit its decision in the very near term," Tori Emerson Barnes, the group's executive vice president of public affairs and policy, told Travel + Leisure in a statement.

"Covid variants are of concern, but closed borders have not prevented the Delta variant from entering the U.S. while vaccinations are proving incredibly durable to the virus' evolution," she said. "While other nations, like Canada, the U.K. and much of the E.U., have all taken steps to welcome inbound travelers this summer and rebuild jobs and local economies, the United States remains closed to one of the most important segments of the travel economy—the international inbound traveler."

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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