Washington, MINA – The United States President Joe Biden will ban the entry of travelers from eight countries in the southern African continent starting next week due to concerns about a new Covid-19 variant.
“The restrictions, which took effect Monday, do not apply to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents,” said Joe Biden, an administration official.
The United States is among countries around the world that immediately suspended travel from south Africa due to news of a new variant, named omicron.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called omicron “concerning.” The restrictions apply to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.
Most non-US citizens who have been in those countries in the previous 14 days will not be allowed into the United States.
“As a precaution until we have more information, I am ordering additional air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries,” Biden said in a statement.
“These new restrictions will take effect on November 29. As we move forward, we will continue to be guided by the advice of my science and medical team.”
Another administration official warned that the United States could add several countries to the list of restrictions if the variant spreads.
Delta Air Lines and United Airlines both fly to South Africa and United will resume non-stop flights from Newark to Cape Town on December 1. Shares of both airlines closed down more than 8 percent on Friday. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)