The US has moved to ban foreign nationals from entering the US from Brazil as the South American nation battles a fast rising Covid-19 death count.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the US Administration took the ‘decisive action’ to protect Americans.
“Today’s action will help ensure foreign nationals who have been in Brazil do not become a source of additional infections in our country,” McEnany said.
“These new restrictions do not apply to the flow of commerce between the United States and Brazil.”
Brazil has more than 360,000 cases and over 22,000 deaths.
The travel ban takes effect later this week and exempts permanent residents and spouses or children of US citizens.
It covers all foreign nationals who have been in Brazil during the last 14 days.
Brazil has the second highest number of cases after the US.
“We hope it wil be temporary, but because of the situation in Brazil, we’re going to take every step necessary to protect the American people,” said national security adviser Robert O’Brien.
The World Health Organization has called South America and Brazil in particular the new pandemic hotspot.
O’Brien said further restrictions could be imposed on a ‘country-by-country basis’ elsewhere in South America.