As the delta variant of COVID-19 spreads, cases of the virus are on the rise, and because of that, the U.S. will keep travel restrictions in place. White House press secretary Jen Psaki says as much in a briefing released on Monday (July 26).
“We will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point for a few reasons,” she says in the brief. “The more transmissible Delta variant is spreading both here and around the world. Driven by the Delta variant, cases are rising here at home, particularly among those who are unvaccinated, and appear likely to continue in the weeks ahead.”
The U.S.’ current travel restrictions have been in place since the pandemic began unfolding last year. Although a place like Canada just reopened its borders, it looks like the Delta variant will keep the U.S. closed off for a while longer.
Psaki went on to say that the White House would continue following the lead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) when it comes to dealing with the virus. In a briefing last week, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that the U.S. was at a “pivotal” moment for combating the virus, which is spreading at a rapid rate.
“The Delta variant is spreading with incredible efficiency and now represents more than 83 percent of the virus circulating in the United States,” she said. “Compared to the virus we had circulating initially in the United States at the start of the pandemic, the Delta variant is more aggressive and much more transmissible than previously circulating strains. It is one of the most infectious respiratory viruses we know of and that I have seen in my 20-year career.”
There’s no real word on when the travel restrictions will end, but with COVID-19 spreading the way it is, it doesn’t seem like they’ll end all that soon.