UPDATED 6:53 AM PT — Monday, May 25, 2020
The White House announced new travel restrictions on Brazil as the coronavirus pandemic intensifies in the South American nation.
President Trump issued the proclamation on Sunday, suspending U.S. entry for any individual who has visited Brazil within the last 14 days of their attempted entry. The suspension pertains only to non-U.S. citizens and will officially take effect on Thursday.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany reassured the decision would not effect the “flow of commerce” between the U.S. and Brazil.
Earlier in the day, National Security adviser Robert O’Brien hinted at the move while citing a surge in COVID-19 infections in the country.
“I think that we’ll have a 212(F) decision today (Sunday) with respect to Brazil, and just like we did with the U.K. and Europe and China,” he stated. “And we hope that’ll be temporary, but because of the situation in Brazil, we’re going to take every step necessary to protect the American people”.
As of Sunday, Brazil had over 347,000 confirmed cases and nearly 2,300 deaths. According to a World Health Organization official, South America is starting to become the new epicenter for the coronavirus with Brazil surpassing Russia in total number of cases.
The move joins a growing list of nations the administration has restricted travel to, including China, Canada, Mexico as well as multiple European countries like the U.K. and Ireland.