MIAMI – POTUS has terminated the suspension of entry into the US of persons who arrive from the Schengen Area, the UK, Ireland, and Brazil.

Through a presidential proclamation issued this afternoon, US president Donald Trump declares that the unrestricted entry into the US by travelers from the aforementioned regions, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe, are “no longer detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

The terminations declared in the document include Proclamation 9993 of March 11, 2020, Proclamation 9996 of March 14, 2020, and Proclamation 10041 of May 24, 2020, all of which suspend entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants of persons who pose a risk of transmitting COVID-19 within the US territory.

The above proclamations are to be terminated effective at 12:01am EST on January 26, 2021.

Congress and Senate leaders meeting back in March 2020. Photo: GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy..

Why Now?

POTUS explains his decision on the basis that on January 12, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order, effective January 26, 2021, requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving from a foreign country to the United States. As POTUS further elaborates:

“The Secretary [of Health and Human Services] has explained that this action will help to prevent air passengers from the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and the Federative Republic of Brazil from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 into the United States, as it is the Secretary’s understanding that the vast majority of persons entering the United States from these jurisdictions do so by air.”

Making a stark contrast with China and Iran’s response to the crisis, POTUS says the aforementioned jurisdictions have “a proven record of working with the United States to share accurate and timely COVID-19 testing and trend data,” adding that the Secretary expects cooperation from them in implementing the testing order.

Not a Good Idea?

Biden’s team, however, tweeted moments after the proclamation that the coming Administration “does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26. In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

In the proclamation’s General Provision C, POTUS makes it clear that his decision “is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.”

The news comes on the heels of the UK’s decision to suspend all travel corridors into the country starting early this morning. Travelers arriving in the UK will now need a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours.

Featured image: The JFK WorldPort “Flying Saucer” Terminal 3 and the 1969 addition are in the foreground while Terminal 4 is seen in the background. This image date back to 2010 before the expansion of T4 began. Photo: Airways