President Joe Biden on Monday will officially restore COVID-19 travel restrictions on non-US travelers from Brazil, Ireland, the UK and 26 other European countries who allow travel across open borders, according to two White House officials.
Officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the order, also confirmed on Sunday that South Africa would be added to a restricted list due to concerns about a variant of the virus that has spread outside the country.
Biden scrapped an order from President Donald Trump in his final days at office calling for an easing of travel restrictions on Tuesday.
The decision to reverse the order was not surprising, but South Africa’s addition to a limited travel list highlighted the new administration’s concerns about a virus mutation.
The South African variant has not been found in the United States, but another variant – one originating in the UK – has been detected in several states.
Reuters first reported Biden’s decision to add South Africa to the list.
Biden last week issued an executive order ordering federal agencies to oblige international air travelers to quarantine upon US arrival. The order also requires that all bound passengers in the US aged 2 and over test negative for COVID-19 within three days of traveling.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.