Biden Lifts Travel Ban On 8 African Countries Amid Omicron Variant

Travel restrictions will be lifted for eight African countries amid the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron.

According to a senior official from the Biden Administration, the president disbanded its travel restrictions on Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Eswatini, Mozambique and Lesotho, CNBC reports. The restrictions are set to end on Dec. 31 at 12:01 a.m. EST.

“The travel restrictions imposed by that proclamation are no longer necessary to protect the public health,” President Joe Biden said in the new proclamation, according to CNN. 

The CDC recommended lifting the restrictions after health experts noticed the efficacy of the vaccine in those infected with the Omicron strand. According to the proclamation, vaccinated individuals “are protected against severe disease and hospitalization from the Omicron variant.”

President Joe Biden’s administration also said that civilians traveling from Africa to the U.S. would not have a widespread impact or raise health concerns despite the growing rate of the variant.

When the newly discovered Omicron variant was spotted in South Africa, the U.S. government implemented bans on Nov. 29. At the time, Biden required all international travelers to test negative 24-hours prior to their trip departure to the U.S.

The restriction led some health experts to believe Biden’s travel ban was ineffective. According to CNN, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres referred to the ban as “travel apartheid.” However, Biden defended his decision and said the restrictions allowed the country to research the variant. 

On Thursday, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said the ban was “never intended to be permanent.”

“It was intended to be temporary. And lifting it is certainly our intention,” she told reporters.

The CDC said on Monday that the Omicron strand makes up more than 73% of new cases in the U.S.

Articles You May Like

Biden Maintains Ambitious Refugee Cap Despite Missing It Badly This Year
Hailey Bieber Dragged By Black And Brown Women For Appropriating ‘Brownie Glazed Lip’ Trend
With ‘Reasonable Doubt,’ Raamla Mohamed Gives The Legal Drama Some Sex Appeal
Twitter Hilariously Predicts Rihanna Will Be Performing Everything But Music For The Super Bowl Halftime Show
Jada Pinkett Smith Explains Why Alpha Males ‘Don’t Pay Attention To Feelings’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

4 × 5 =