U.S. Moves to Limit Travel from South Africa Amidst Fast-Moving New Covid Variant

By Paul Riegler on 26 November 2021
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A South African aircraft in London

On the heels of similar moves by at least ten countries including France, Germany, Japan, Israel, Italy, and Singapore, the United States moved to contain the spread of the fast-moving South Africa variant by prohibiting travel from a number of African countries.

The travel ban will go into effect on Monday, the Biden Administration said.  It will prohibit travelers from South Africa as well as from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

The prohibition does not apply to American citizens or lawful permanent residents but such travelers would have to show a negative coronavirus test before flying to the United States.

Earlier in the day, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist, had said that scientists were quickly gathering data and could ban flights once more is known.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said that the new strain of the coronavirus a global “variant of concern” and that preliminary evidence suggested that it presented a higher risk of a person falling ill with Covid-19 for a second time. The WHO noted the variant’s fast spread in South Africa, saying it indicated that it could be more transmissible than other strains of the virus.  It concluded by saying that more research was necessary to fully understand the effect.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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