US announces travel restrictions over new Covid-19 variant

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ARLINGTON, VA – NOVEMBER 23: Travelers carry luggage as they arrive at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport November 23, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. With Covid-19 vaccinations on the rise and Americans now traveling more freely, U.S. airports and airlines are expecting millions more passengers this holiday season compared to 2020. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


Update 12/03/2021


New US travel rules: What you need to know about the changes prompted by Omicron

(CNN) — Just when we thought US travel rules were starting to stabilize, along comes Omicron.
The dominoes fell quickly after South African health authorities informed the world of their discovery of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in late November.
The Biden administration rolled out controversial travel bans on arrivals from eight nations in southern Africa. Travelers found themselves unexpectedly stranded. And now US officials are tightening travel regulations again.

Things are changing by the day and even by the hour, but here are some of the questions people have about US travel rules — and answers we have as of December 3:  READ MORE




CNN is reporting:

The new travel restrictions announced by President Biden today will buy the US federal government more time to investigate the new Omicron variant that has emerged in South Africa, officials say. But not much.

Earlier today, the Biden administration announced it will restrict travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi, starting Monday. The administration stressed it was acting on advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, after the World Health Organization labeled the newly discovered strain as a “variant of concern.”

Inside the government, it is seen as inevitable that the new variant will appear in the US at some point, but the new restrictions should give federal health agencies and their global counterparts more time to learn about the variant, including the severity of the disease it causes. Officials do not believe, based on current thinking, that the variant is in the US yet.

Officials acted quickly to implement the new restrictions. While the emergency of the variant had been flagged in the last several weeks, it was only in recent days that they learned how serious it was.

US officials are expected to speak to scientists in South Africa again potentially on Sunday.


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