President Donald Trump with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Trump restricts travel from Brazil as its number of coronavirus cases spike


President Donald Trump has ordered the US to temporarily restrict travel from Brazil, where COVID-19 cases are spiking, the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said in a statement on Sunday.

The order suspends entry into the US for foreign nationals who "were physically present within the Federative Republic of Brazil during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States."

It does not apply to US citizens, legal permanent residents, or their family members. The order also excludes "the free flow of commerce" between the US and Brazil.

The order was set to go into effect on Thursday, May 28 at 11:59 p.m., but the White House revised that date to Tuesday, May 26, at 11:59 p.m. It was not immediately clear why the date has been changed.

In a Sunday statement, McEnany said the move by Trump would be enacted to "protect our country" as the number of coronavirus cases in Brazil continues to spike.

Brazil, which has more than 347,000 confirmed cases, surpassed Russia in recent days and now trails only the US in its total number of infections, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The Trump administration previously restricted travel from China in late January and Iran in February. In March, weeks after the virus had already taken hold in Europe, the restrictions were extended to the Schengen Area — which includes 26 European countries — as well as the UK and Ireland.