16.07.2021, 07:48

Biden says US reviewing how soon it can lift European travel ban

Biden says US reviewing how soon it can lift European travel ban

US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a joint news conference in the East Room at the White House in Washington, US, July 15, 2021. (Photo: Reuters)   

President Joe Biden said on Thursday the United States is reviewing when it can lift restrictions that ban most-non US citizens from traveling to the United States from much of Europe after German Chancellor Angela Merkel raised the issue.

"It's in process now," Biden said of discussions about when restrictions could be lifted. He said he is likely to be able to answer "within the next several days what is likely to happen... I'm waiting to hear from our ... COVID team as to when that should be done."

Merkel said Biden told her the same that he told the press and they discussed the impact of the COVID-19 Delta variant. "It has to be a sustainable decision. It is certainly not sensible to have to take it back after only a few days," Merkel said.

Airlines and others have urged the administration to lift restrictions covering most non-US citizens who have recently been in Britain, the 26 Schengen nations in Europe without border controls, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil.