- “Today’s action will help ensure foreign nationals who have been in Brazil do not become a source of additional infections in our country.”
- Currently, foreign nationals who have visited Iran, China, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and the European Schengen area are barred from entering the U.S.
- Brazil has become a major hotspot for coronavirus cases.
The United States has imposed travel restrictions on foreign nationals who have been to Brazil following a new spike in cases of infection of the new coronavirus in the country. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh NcEnany announced the restrictions in a statement Sunday, adding that U.S. citizens would be exempt.
“Today’s action will help ensure foreign nationals who have been in Brazil do not become a source of additional infections in our country,” McEnany said. The suspension, which was made official on Sunday, indicated that non-Americans who have been in Brazil in the last 14 days will be denied entry to the U.S.
“The potential for undetected transmission of the virus by infected individuals seeking to enter the United States from the Federative Republic of Brazil threatens the security of our transportation system and infrastructure and the national security,” said the suspension order by White House. It was revealed that the restriction will not affect trade between the two countries.
U.S. President Donald Trump had earlier hinted at the possibility of imposing a travel ban on Brazil due to the rising number of coronavirus cases. The U.S. has imposed several other travel bans in its effort to curb further spread of the virus. Currently, foreign nationals who have visited Iran, China, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and the European Schengen area are barred from entering the U.S.
Brazil has become a major hotspot for coronavirus cases. It currently has the second-biggest caseload in the world, after the U.S. The U.S. leads the world in coronavirus cases, with over 1.6 million. The South American country has recorded more than 360,000 cases, with 22,000 deaths.
Brazil’s curve of infections and deaths continue to rise sharply, but the country’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, seems not to take the matter seriously. On Sunday, he freely interacted with citizens without wearing a mask. Bolsanaro has also participated in anti-lockdown protests.
In one of them, he posted a video on his Facebook account whereby he did not wear a mask and was seen shaking hands and waving at the crowd. The president has always been against the quarantine and stay at home measures, and has dismissed the fact that social distancing could flatten the curve. He has repeatedly advocated for the use of chloroquine to remedy the virus despite the warnings from the experts.
Sao Paulo State, the country’s biggest city and economic hub, has been hardest hit by the virus. The cases in Rio de Janeiro have also accelerated. Most states in the country are in some sort of lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
The President has brushed shoulders with governors and mayors over the lockdown measure, and their relationship has grown extremely bitter. He has continually called for the ending of lockdown measures, so at to revive the country’s economy, despite the worrying situation.
Bolsonaro has widely been criticized for his poor handling of the coronavirus crisis in his country. He has done little to fight the virus, and has called it a “little flu.” He said that Brazilians were immune to the virus, and because they had already been infected, they had antibodies that could fight the virus. Despite this, the numbers of infections continue to rise.