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Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The U.S. will not lift travel restrictions amid concerns about the highly transmissible Delta variant and a surge in coronavirus cases, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.

Why it matters: Since last year, the U.S. has barred entry for most noncitizens who have been in the United Kingdom, the 26 Schengen nations in Europe without border controls, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil within 14 days of arrival.

State of play: The seven-day average of new U.S. cases last week was up 55% from the previous week.

  • The Delta variant now accounts for 83% of cases nationwide.
  • With the U.K. seeing a recent jump in cases, the CDC urged Americans to avoid travel to the region last week. U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico will continue to bar non-essential travel until at least Aug. 21.
  • "Given where we are today...we will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point," Psaki told reporters Monday. "Driven by the Delta variant, cases are rising here at home, particularly among those who are unvaccinated."

Worth noting: "The Biden administration has refused to offer any metrics that would trigger when it will unwind restrictions and has not disclosed if it will remove restrictions on individual countries or focus on enhancing individual traveler scrutiny," Reuters reports.

  • Other countries including France and Israel have mandated COVID-19 passes.

Go deeper

Sep 23, 2021 - Health

Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine

Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September news conference in Viera, Florida. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday an emergency order allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they're exposed to COVID-19, provided they're asymptomatic.

Why it matters: People infected with COVID-19 can spread the coronavirus starting from two days before they display symptoms, according to the CDC. Quarantine helps prevent the virus' spread.

Mormon Church to mandate masks in temples

The San Diego California Temple in La Jolla, California. Photo: RBL/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told its members on Wednesday that all patrons and workers will be required to wear face masks at all times while in the temple.

Why it matters: It's the Mormon Church's latest effort to encourage masking and vaccination among its over 16.6 million members around the world.

Sep 22, 2021 - Health

Brazil's health minister tests positive for COVID during UN summit in N.Y.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga in Brasilia, Brazil, in May. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga has tested positive for COVID-19 while in New York City for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), he confirmed Tuesday night.

Why it matters: Hours earlier, Queirog had accompanied Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to the UNGA. The Biden administration expressed concern last week that the gathering of world leaders could become a coronavirus "superspreader event."