The Biden administration is looking into imposing domestic travel restrictions as a way of curbing the spread of coronavirus mutations.
McClatchy newspapers' Washington, D.C., bureau reported that outbreaks of the new variants have sparked a review of potential restrictions in the U.S.
No particular state is being targeted by the administration, but officials are reviewing how to prevent the spread of variants that appear to be surging in various states, including California and Florida, McClatchy reported.
The variants include one identified in the United Kingdom as highly contagious, along with others from South Africa and Brazil. Scientists are concerned the variants could evade existing vaccines, McClatchy said.
"There are active conversations about what could help mitigate spread here, but we have to follow the data and what's going to work," a White House official said. "We did this with South Africa, we did this with Brazil, because we got clear guidance."
Sources stressed that no decision has been made.
"This is a war and we're at battle with the virus," the official added. "War is messy and unpredictable, and all options are on the table."
A spokeswoman for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he "opposes travel restrictions and does not believe diagnostic tests should be a prerequisite to domestic air travel."
Meanwhile, there is evidence that having COVID-19 may not necessarily protect against getting infected again with some of the variants. People can get second infections with earlier versions of the coronavirus if they mounted a weak defense the first time, new research indicates.
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