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The U.S. needed to act immediately to announce travel restrictions as any delays in doing so could result in the fight against the new variant being lost quickly. The travel industry can't catch a break, with this new round of anxiety creating more uncertainties — yet again.

U.S. President Joe Biden will restrict travel to the United States from eight southern African countries effective Monday over concerns about a new Covid-19 variant found in South Africa, a senior administration official said on Friday.

The official said the restrictions will apply to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi and were being “implemented out of an abundance of caution in light of a new COVID-19 variant circulating in Southern Africa.”

The policy does not ban flights or apply to American citizens and lawful permanent residents, the official said. The United States only lifted travel restrictions on South Africa on Nov. 8.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Chris Gallagher)

This article was from Reuters and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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Tags: africa, coronavirus, covid-19, omicron variant, south africa, travel restrictions

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