South Africa demands lifting of travel restrictions for
U.S. President Joe Biden said Tuesday that he is “considering” rolling back travel restrictions from South Africa and other African countries imposed by his administration last November following the emergence of the omicron variant.
Earlier this month, the U.S. government’s chief epidemiologist, Anthony Fauci, said he expected the United States to review these travel restrictions within “a reasonable period of time.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed Monday that omicron is already the most contagious variant of the coronavirus in the United States, where between December 12 and 18 accounted for 73.2% of new cases. EFE (I)
The 4 requirements to enter the United States in
WASHINGTON – The U.S. government notified Friday that starting next Monday it will place restrictions on travelers from South Africa and seven other countries in southern Africa in the face of the emergence of a new variant of the coronavirus dubbed “omicron.”
“As a precautionary measure until we have more information, I am ordering additional air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries,” President Joe Biden said in a statement sent by the White House.
The new restrictions will go into effect Nov. 29 and as information and knowledge of the omicron variant advances, Biden said, further decisions could be made based on what science and the medical team of advisors advise him.
President Biden made the decision after hearing suggestions from his chief medical advisor, Anthony Fauci, and officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
U.S. to lift restrictions on U.S. flights on Friday
Foreign nationals who are banned from entering the United States because they have been to one of eight African countries (South Africa, Botswana, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique and Malawi) in the previous 14 days will again be able to travel on flights to U.S. territory departing after 12:01 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time (05:00 GMT on December 31).
South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique and MalawiOn Nov. 29, the United States banned access to nearly all non-U.S. citizens who had recently been to these countries out of “over-caution” for the variant detected in South Africa.
The restrictions have not prevented flights or Americans from returning from southern Africa. Dr. Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease expert, said Monday that the lifting of the restrictions was because “we have enough infections in our own country.” “We’re letting in people from other countries that have as much or more infection than southern African countries.”
Omicron, the “worrying” new variant of COVID-19, already
The cascade of country restrictions began Thursday night when the United Kingdom announced it would temporarily suspend flights from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.
Singapore has opted to ban entry to all non-residents from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, while returning nationals and permanent residents from any of these countries will be required to spend 10 days at home. Malaysia has also taken similar measures.
Meanwhile, Germany plans to declare South Africa a “virus variant area” as of Friday night, which will mean that airlines will only be able to enter from the country to repatriate German nationals.
The United States will restrict travel from South Africa and seven other countries as of Monday. Following advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Biden administration will restrict travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.