In this May 19, 2021 file photo, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky testifies during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing to examine the FY 2022 budget request for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Washington. Credit: Greg Nash / AP

WASHINGTON — The White House says it’s in no hurry to lift COVID-19 international travel restrictions, a day after President Joe Biden said he hoped to have an updated timeline for easing them.

Speaking during a White House briefing, COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said: “We must remain vigilant, particularly about the spread of variants and we’ll reopen when the medical folks and health experts believe it’s safe to do so.”

Zients adds any decision about opening international travel will be guided by a review of coronavirus cases, vaccination rates and virus variants.

European allies have chafed at the restrictions, given in some places their vaccination and case rates are better than the U.S., and other parts of the world are not subject to the stiff entry requirements. German Chancellor Angela Merkel pressed Biden on the matter Thursday during their Oval Office meeting.