The US will keep existing travel restrictions for those entering the country due to the surging cases of Covid-19 Delta variant, the White House said on Monday.

Driven by the rising Delta variant cases at home, particularly among those who are unvaccinated, "we will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a daily briefing, reports said.

corona virus

The federal administration has been under pressure from the travel industry and allies to lift these restrictions.

The US currently bars entry for most non-citizens who within the last 14 days have been in Britain, the European Schengen area, Ireland, China, Iran, South Africa, Brazil, and India. It also keeps non-essential travel restrictions across its borders with Canada and Mexico.

Last week, the US State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning against travelling to Britain due to the country's high level of Covid-19 cases.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 35,287,269 and 627,039, respectively.

Vaccine mandatory for frontline staff 

Meanwhile, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it will require its frontline healthcare workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19, making it the first federal agency to mandate compulsory inoculation.

Announced by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough on Monday, the order will make full vaccination mandatory for VA healthcare personnel, including physicians, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, registered nurses, physician assistants and some experts, who work in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities, visit VHA facilities or provide direct care to those VA serves, reports Xinhua news agency.

"We're mandating vaccines for Title 38 employees because it's the best way to keep Veterans safe, especially as the Delta variant spreads across the country," McDonough said.

"Whenever a Veteran or VA employee sets foot in a VA facility, they deserve to know that we have done everything in our power to protect them from Covid-19. With this mandate, we can once again make - and keep - that fundamental promise."