The President of the United States, Donald Trump, on Sunday banned the entry of passengers from Brazil, the country most affected by the coronavirus pandemic in South America, a measure similar to the one he adopted with Europe and China.
“These new restrictions do not apply to the flow of trade between the United States and Brazil,” White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.
The decision will take effect from 23.59 Washington local time (03.59 GMT) on May 28 and will remain in effect until the president rescinds it.
According to the spokesperson, it affects foreigners who have been in Brazil 14 days before requesting their entry into US territory.
McEnany said this action “will help ensure that foreign citizens who have been to Brazil do not become an additional source of infection” in the country.
The measure does not affect US citizens and legal permanent residents in the country, as well as other people who meet some of the exceptions provided by the Trump Government.
The possibility of restricting the arrival of travelers from the southern giant had already been anticipated this Sunday by White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien, who said he hoped it “would be temporary.”
“We are going to take all necessary measures to protect the American people,” said the official on the Sunday program “Face the Nation.”
O’Brien also indicated that any other decision would be analyzed “country by country.”
A senior Trump Administration official told Efe in a statement that these restrictions “do not in any way reflect a reduction in the strong relationship” between the two countries.
The official confirmed that Trump has spoken twice in the past two months with his Brazilian colleague, Jair Bolsonaro, about his shared fight against COVID-19.
From the same firm, he indicated that the United States will donate 1,000 respirators to help with the health care needs in that country.
Between May 11 and 17, almost 1,800 travelers entered the country from Brazil, the senior official said in the statement, adding that each week more than 1,500 passengers arrive at US airports on flights from Brazilian territory.
As early as March 31, Trump himself had admitted during a press conference that they were “certainly studying a veto” of travel from Brazil, when asked about that possibility.
His second on board, Vice President Mike Pence, said last Wednesday in Orlando, Florida that the White House was “watching very carefully what is happening in South America, including Brazil.”
Trump banned people from China from entering the United States in January and in mid-March made the same decision with those arriving from Europe, the latter measure for a period of 30 days.
In the wake of the pandemic, the Trump government has also closed land borders with Canada and Mexico to non-essential traffic.
The United States is the country most affected by the pandemic, with 1,640,630 cases and 97,599 deaths, followed by Brazil, with 347,398 infected people and 22,013 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. .