President Joe Biden issued a proclamation Monday reinstating restrictions on travel from most European countries and Brazil and imposing new restrictions on travel from South Africa. The U.S. is also poised to implement a new COVID-19 testing requirement on international air travelers.

Key Points:

  • Entry to the U.S. will continue to be barred to most foreign nationals who have been in Brazil, Ireland, the United Kingdom or any of the 26 Schengen Area countries in the 14 days before attempting entry.
  • Beginning Saturday, Jan. 30, entry will be barred to most foreign nationals who have been in South Africa in the 14 days before attempting entry.
  • Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 26, the U.S. will require individuals traveling to the country by air, including U.S. nationals and lawful permanent residents, to test negative for the COVID-19 virus. Information on this requirement is available here.

Additional Information: The Trump administration moved to lift the “physical presence” bans on Brazil, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the Schengen Area days before President Trump left office. Biden’s incoming White House spokesperson immediately indicated the new administration would not lift the bans. Today’s proclamation formally extends the restrictions. In addition to the countries listed above, physical presence bans remain in place for China and Iran. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, spouses and children of U.S. citizens and a limited number of others are exempt from the bans. The bans will remain in place until the White House lifts them.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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