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US entry: Restrictions for Europeans to be lifted soon?

The White House is apparently considering lifting the Corona-related entry restrictions for the countries of the Schengen area, Ireland, Great Britain as well as Brazil even before the newly elected President Joe Biden takes office.

According to Reuters news agency, referring to representatives of the U.S. government and U.S. airlines, it is possible that the U.S. entry ban will soon be lifted for most non-U.S. citizens who have been in a country of the Schengen area, Ireland, Great Britain or Brazil in the past 14 days. For China and Iran, on the other hand, the entry ban is to remain in place for the time being. A final decision on the lifting of the entry restrictions by President Trump is still pending, but the White House Corona Task Force, the United States Public Health Service and other authorities have already declared their approval of the measure.

Quick note: Texting in cars banned in Florida since July

What has been the case in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for some time now also applies to Florida as of this July: Anyone who sends e-mails or text messages while driving must expect a fine. As reported by the Auto Club Group (ACG), which is part of the American Automobile Association (AAA), drivers who are caught writing messages on their cell phones while driving have to expect a fine of at least $30 since July 1, provided they used their hands while doing so. Repeated violations of the ordinance each carry a $60 fine and up to three points on the traffic offender record, provided they have a U.S. driver’s license. The only exceptions are for emergencies such as notifying the police of traffic accidents, weather warnings or emergency medical calls.

In contrast, hand-held cell phone use while driving will not be banned in Florida until October 1 and only at intersections in front of schools, in school zones or zones where construction work is taking place. For comparison: In Germany, any use of a cell phone while driving with a hand is subject to a fine of at least 100 euros and a point in Flensburg.

As in Germany, sending text messages via voice input is still permitted. However, the AAA recommends that this should not be done, as it also leads to distraction from traffic and thus increases the risk of accidents. For example, a car traveling at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour covers a distance equivalent to the length of three football fields in just 27 seconds. According to a survey by AAA, more than 390,000 injuries and 3,500 deaths occur each year in the U.S. as a result of distracted driving.


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