Donald Trump 'to lift Covid travel bans' on arrivals from UK, Europe and Brazil

19 January 2021, 00:08 | Updated: 19 January 2021, 00:23

Donald Trump has reportedly given the green light to lift the travel ban
Donald Trump has reportedly given the green light to lift the travel ban. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Donald Trump will lift the blanket US travel ban on arrivals from the UK, Europe and Brazil, according to reports.

The outgoing-president scrapped the entry bans - introduced because of the coronavirus pandemic - on Monday for most US non-citizens.

Two officials briefed on the matter reportedly told Reuters the restrictions will be lifted on 26 January, six days after Mr Trump leaves the White House.

It will come on the same day that the US begins implementing a new travel measure that will require all international visitors to test negative for Covid-19 before entry to the country, the news organisation claimed.

The soon-to-be-defunct ban has so far prevented entry for most non-citizens who had been in the UK, EU and Brazil within 14 days of arrival in the US.

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Washington DC imposed its Europe and Brazil travel bans in March and May 2020 respectively.

The White House has not immediately commented on the claims.

It comes despite new, highly-transmissive Covid variants emerging in both the UK and Brazil in recent months.

Additionally, President-elect Joe Biden could reintroduce the travel restrictions upon taking office on Wednesday.

The incoming US leader has repeatedly criticised the Trump administration for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and has suggested he will overturn a number of the president's policies.

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Elsewhere, on Monday, Mr Biden's inauguration ceremony dress rehearsal was paused and evacuated after a fire in a nearby homeless encampment triggered a security alert.

The US Capitol complex in Washington DC was temporarily locked down on Monday after the blaze, roughly one mile away, sent plumes of smoke into the air.

Local firefighters responded swiftly and put out the fire, with law enforcement officials declaring there was no threat to the public or the rehearsal.

Attendees of the practice ceremony were evacuated from the West Front of the Capitol following an order by the acting chief of Capitol Police.

People involved in the walk-through said security officials yelled: "This is not a drill". However, the lockdown was lifted roughly an hour later.

President-elect Biden and other VIPs who are attending Wednesday's ceremony were not present in the trial run.

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