US announces travel restrictions over new COVID-19 variant

US Materials 27 November 2021 06:45 (UTC +04:00)

Starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday, travelers from certain parts of southern Africa will be banned from flying to the United States unless they’re citizens or legal permanent residents due to the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, Trend reports citing WJLA.

The World Health Organization suggested the new variant could pose greater risks than delta, which is the world’s most prevalent variant and has fueled relentless waves of infection on every continent.

In response, President Joe Biden has signed a travel restriction proclamation for those in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.

This exempts U.S citizens, lawful permanent residents, and noncitizens who are the spouse of a citizen or permanent resident.

Currently, there are no direct flights to the D.C. area from those locations but many people do transfers in Qatar and Turkey, which are doing bans even earlier than in the U.S.

The order will remain in effect until terminated by the president.