President Biden Extends and Expands Restrictions on US Admission Amid COVID-19

January 26, 2021

In an effort to curb the further spread of COVID-19, President Joe Biden has extended restrictions on US admission from the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Brazil as of January 26, and expanded the restrictions to include travel from South Africa as of January 30. The new restrictions prohibit travel from any of these regions during the 14-day period preceding anticipated entry to the United States, with certain exceptions.

US President Joe Biden issued a presidential proclamation on January 25 extending the suspension of entry of certain individuals traveling from the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Brazil, effective 12:01 am EST on January 26, 2021. Passengers on flights that departed prior to this date and time are not subject to the suspension.

For purposes of the travel restriction, the Schengen area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Bulgaria, Croatia, and Cyprus are not part of the Schengen area and therefore are not subject to the travel restriction.

Additionally, the proclamation expands the restrictions to include travel from South Africa, effective 12:01 am EST on January 30, 2021. Passengers on flights departing prior to this date and time will not be subject to the suspension.

Please review our previous alert regarding the 10 classes exempted from the travel restrictions, as they remain the same. For example, US citizens, green card holders, and their spouses, children (under age 21 and unmarried), and siblings remain exempt from the travel restrictions.

The restrictions will remain in place until terminated by the president, although the secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services shall, within 30 days and by the final day of each calendar month thereafter, recommend the termination, modification, or extension of these restrictions.

Please note that the restrictions on travel from the People’s Republic of China and Iran remain in place.

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If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this alert, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:

Washington, DC
Shannon A. Donnelly
Eleanor Pelta
Eric S. Bord

Laura C. Garvin

For additional government-related guidance, learn more about our Washington strategic government relations and counseling practice.