On Friday, the United States announced it is barring traveling from eight southern African countries taking into account the risk of a new variant of Covid-19 that has been found in South Africa.
A senior official in President Joe Biden’s administration confirmed that from Monday onwards, Travel will be mostly not allowed from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi and Mozambique.
The official, who spoke on condition that identity to remain concealed, further stated that only US citizens and permanent residents will still be allowed to travel from those eight countries but they would have to show evidence of a negative test ahead of traveling to the United States.
The official said, “The policy was implemented out of an abundance of caution in light of a new Covid-19 variant circulating in Southern Africa,” adding further “Our scientists and public health officials are working quickly to learn more about this variant.”
While concluding, the official said “President Biden has promised to take every measure necessary to keep Americans safe and defeat the pandemic, and this was a step recommended by US government medical experts and the Covid-19 Response Team.”
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In a statement, Biden said “This morning I was briefed by my chief medical advisor, Dr. Tony Fauci, and the members of our COVID response team, about the Omicron variant, which is spreading through Southern Africa.
As a precautionary measure until we have more information, I am ordering additional air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries. As we move forward, we will continue to be guided by what the science and my medical team advises.”
The president further added that “Boosters are approved for all adults over 18, six months past their vaccination and are available at 80,000 locations coast-to-coast. They are safe, free, and convenient.
Get your booster shot now, so you can have this additional protection during the holiday season,” he further added “The United States has already donated more vaccines to other countries than every other country combined. It is time for other countries to match America’s speed and generosity.
In addition, I call on the nations gathering next week for the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting to meet the U.S. challenge to waive intellectual property protections for COVID vaccines, so these vaccines can be manufactured globally.”
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