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Virus Travel Restrictions Weighed by U.S. for More Countries

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 1/26/2021 Mary Schlangenstein
a group of people walking down the street: Travelers wearing protective masks walk through an airport. © Bloomberg Travelers wearing protective masks walk through an airport.

(Bloomberg) -- The Biden administration is reviewing whether more nations need to be added to a list of countries facing travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, telling U.S. citizens that international travel could be risky.

State Department officials warned Americans on Tuesday to reconsider international travel amid the pandemic. The officials added that Americans who go abroad may find it harder to return home.

“Our main message to U.S. citizens considering travel abroad remains the same -- seriously reconsider going overseas right now,” said Ian Brownlee, the principal deputy assistant secretary of consular affairs. “If you are overseas right now, it’s going to be harder to come home for awhile.”

The U.S. also is considering possible coronavirus testing requirements at land crossings and for domestic flights, according to a briefing by Brownlee and Marty Cetron, director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention global migration and quarantine division.

Brownlee also said that if Americans test positive for the virus while overseas, they’ll need to postpone a return to the U.S., possibly for several weeks.

“All travelers should have a Plan B,” Brownlee said. “Where would you stay, how would you pay for it, what would happen at home if you couldn’t get back to work?”

The comments come days after the Biden administration confirmed that it will continue to restrict travel to the U.S. from the U.K., Ireland and 26 countries in Europe, and will extend the ban to South Africa, to slow transmission of Covid-19.

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