US restricting travel from southern Africa due to a new Covid variant fear

WASHINGTON: Following the detection of a new variant of the coronavirus on the continent, US President Joe Biden has announced that the US will impose travel restrictions on eight African countries.

Biden announced on Friday that, starting Monday, his administration will restrict air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi as a "precautionary" measure to prevent the newly discovered Omicron variant of coronavirus from spreading into the US, based on advice from his chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci.  According to reports, Biden said the administration was still gathering more information about the variety and urged Americans and others across the world to get vaccinated against the virus.

Similar limitations have been announced by other countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and France. According to US media sources citing top administration officials, the US limitations do not apply to US citizens and lawful permanent residents, who must still produce proof of a negative test before entering the country.

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