The Biden administration has been looking into domestic travel restrictions, after COVID-19 cases continue in Florida and other parts of the US.
While many other countries around the world – including Canada and Australia – have placed strict interstate and provincial travel restrictions, USA is still looking into the feasibility of such restrictions.
Currently two government officials have spoken on record, stating no policy announcements are imminent, and that any restrictions to travel or imposing health measures would be taken in partnership with state and local governments.
New, highly contagious variants of COVID-19 have been recorded in Florida. Outbreaks of the variants are causing concern, with Biden initiating the discussion over whether to impose restrictions or not.
The move has not come without opposition from the Republican party. Senator Marco Rubio has tweeted his disapproval of the discussions, stating in a letter to Joe Biden [it] “has no basis on law or science.”
Success in Other Countries
The statements disregard the success Australia and other countries have been having, using restrictive measures on interstate and international travellers. This includes 14 day quarantine periods for international travellers, and interstate restrictions resulting in heavy fines if anyone is caught flouting the law. Some of these restrictions have been lifted, with Australia boasting 0 new COVID-19 cases. A return to normalcy seen in the nation, as clubs and bars re-open without the need to wear masks indoors.
Florida’s current outbreaks could be associated with the early reopening of bars and clubs at 50% capacity last year. Whilst many events have been cancelled or scaled back, the White House continues to look askance at Florida as it continues its “new normal”.
With the death toll for the US currently sitting at roughly 471,000, the newly elected Biden administration is eager to get things under control. The careful rollout of vaccines, looks set to vaccinate over half the population by mid-2021.
If stricter interstate travel restrictions take place, we could be seeing a ‘return to normalcy’ sooner rather than later.