Omicron variant: U.S. closes borders to travelers from eight southern African countries
Steph Deschamps / November 27, 2021
The United States announced Friday the closure of borders to travelers from eight southern African countries in response to the outbreak of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
People from Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa will be barred from entering the United States starting Monday, a senior U.S. official said.
Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents in the United States will be allowed to enter the country, he said.
This decision, in the wake of similar measures announced by European countries in particular, comes at a time when US President Joe Biden had just reopened the borders to travellers from all over the world at the beginning of November, provided that they are vaccinated against Covid, after 20 months of restrictions.
This measure was introduced as a precautionary measure in light of the new Covid-19 variant circulating in southern Africa, the U.S. official told reporters.
Our scientists and public health officials are working quickly to learn more about this variant, he added.
President Biden promised to take every step necessary to ensure the health of American women and defeat the pandemic, and this was recommended by U.S. government medical experts and the Covid-19 team, he said.