Key Points

  • On January 18, 2021, President Trump signed an order lifting some COVID-19 travel bans
  • The U.S. planned to end COVID-19 travel bans against Brazil, Ireland, the UK, and the Schengen zone on January 26, 2021
  • The incoming Biden administration intends to reinstate the travel ban
  • Travel bans will also remain in place for China and Iran


The incoming Biden administration has announced plans to block President Trump's executive order, scheduled to take effect on January 26, 2021, that would lift travel bans for Brazil, Ireland, the UK, and the Schengen Area.

What are the Changes?

A COVID-19 travel ban that was imposed against the Schengen area in March 2020 was lifted through President Trump's executive order. The impacted countries include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Greece, Germany, Iceland, Hungary, Latvia, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. Elsewhere in Europe, travel restrictions were planned to be lifted against Ireland and the UK. A COVID-19 travel ban that was issued for Brazil in May 2020 was lifted as well.

Due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, the incoming Biden administration intends to keep the travel ban in place.

Looking Ahead

President-elect Biden plans to reimpose the travel ban shortly after taking office due to ongoing global health concerns.

Originally published 20 January 2021

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