Biden lifts Omicron-based travel bans in eight African countries

The Biden administration issued a law on December 28, 2021, rescinding the travel ban for anybody who had visited eight nations in Southern Africa.

On Tuesday, President Biden signed a proclamation pull back previous order restricting travel from eight South African countries in the hopes of limiting the now-widespread Omicron coronavirus variant.

South African scientists discovered the highly contagious strain in late November, and it now accounts for the vast majority of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

In response, Mr Biden immediately imposed travel restrictions on non-US citizens from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi.

The restrictions were imposed last on November 26, 2021. The rules were for those people who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.

On Tuesday, Mr Biden said in his proclamation that “The restrictions are no longer necessary to protect public health” and will be raised after midnight on December 31.

“Since I issued that proclamation, our Nation Health professionals have made significant progress in comprehending the Omicron variant, in partnership with the South African scientists who first identified it.”

Mr Biden wrote, “Having learned more about the Omicron variety in recent weeks, the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) now advises relaxing the travel restrictions.

The president pointed out the new efforts that travellers who want to travel to the U.S. have to go with screen incoming, which is entering the U.S. by air travellers must have their COVID-19 negative report and vaccination certificate status. The previous window was three days.

The rapid spread of the Omicron variant amazed the Public Health Officials of America. Now scientists are making efforts to encourage Americans to get their vaccination done and take their booster shots, which offer them strong protection from COVID-19 and Omicron variants.

The decision by Biden to restrict travellers from South African countries called a question on Mr Biden by the team of WHO (World Health Organisation), who argued that the government is unnecessarily punishing South Africa and other countries.