The United States has imposed travel restrictions on foreigners who have been to Brazil in the past 14 days.
The South American nation recently became the second largest hotspot in the world for coronavirus cases.
According to Johns Hopkins University, Brazil currently has more than 347,300 confirmed cases.
A White House spokeswoman said the restrictions would help prevent new cases from being brought to the U.S.
“Today’s action will help prevent foreign nationals who have been to Brazil from becoming additional sources of infection in our country,” said White House spokesman Kayleigh McEnany in a statement.
Non-Americans who were in Brazil in the two weeks prior to entering the United States are denied entry. The restriction has no impact on trade between the two countries.
The suspension is expected to take effect on May 28 at 11:59 p.m. EDT (3:59 a.m. GMT).
The travel ban does not apply to U.S. citizens or to spouses, parents, legal guardians, or children of a U.S. citizen or legal resident, or most siblings under the age of 21.
“The potential for an undetected transmission of the virus by infected people wishing to enter the United States [Brazil] threatens the security of our transport system and our infrastructure, as well as national security, “says the suspension order published by the White House on Sunday.
The previous Sunday, White House national security advisor Robert O’Brien told CBS “Face the Nation” that travel restrictions for Brazil were expected shortly.
“We hope this is temporary, but given the situation in Brazil, we will take all necessary steps to protect the American people,” said O’Brien.
He added that “we will certainly look at the other countries from country to country”.
US President Donald Trump earlier this week suggested considering a travel ban for Brazil.
The United States is currently the world leader in coronavirus cases. It has over 1.6 million known cases and is approaching 100,000 virus-related deaths.
Other US travel restrictions
Sunday’s announcement is the latest travel restriction the United States has put in place to combat the spread of the virus.
Foreigners who have recently visited China, Iran, the European Schengen area, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland are already excluded from entering the United States.
Canada and the United States recently agreed to extend the closure of their shared border to non-essential travel.
What is the situation like all over Brazil?
Brazil has recently overtaken Russia on known cases of the virus. President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly denied the risks associated with the virus.
The number of deaths in Brazil has roughly doubled every two weeks compared to roughly every two months in the UK, four months in France and five months in Italy.
Experts have warned that the actual number could be much higher due to a lack of testing.