WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden has announced that the US will impose travel restrictions on eight African countries as a new variant of the coronavirus has been detected on the continent.
As per advice from his chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci, Biden said on Friday that from 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.
The administration was still gathering more information of the variant, according to Biden, who also urged Americans and people around the world to get vaccinated against the virus, Xinhua news agency reported.
The announcement came on the heels of similar restrictions announced by other countries including Britain, Canada and France.
The US restrictions do not apply to US citizens and lawful permanent residents, who nonetheless still need to show proof of negative test before entering the US, according to US media reports citing senior administration officials.