The United States will maintain existing travel restrictions "at this point" due to concerns over the highly transmissible Covid-19 Delta variant and the rising number of US coronavirus cases, the White House confirmed on Monday.
"We will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement on Monday (local time).
"The more transmissible Delta variant is spreading both here and around the world. Driven by the Delta variant, cases are rising here at home, particularly among those who are unvaccinated, and appear likely to continue in the weeks ahead," she said further.
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 troubled year.
President Joe Biden and his administration have faced pressure from international allies and the airline industry to ease travel restrictions barring most nonessential travel to the US by noncitizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. Administration officials discussed the issue at a senior-level White House meeting on Friday, Washington Post reported citing White House officials.
"The administration understands the importance of international travel and is united in wanting to reopen international travel in a safe and sustainable manner," the official said