UPDATE: U.S. to Lift Omicron-Related Travel Ban on Southern Africa12/27/2021
The White House has announced that it will remove the travel restrictions on eight southern African countries, originally imposed to curb the spread of the COVID-19 omicron variant.
The variant, which was first detected by scientists in South Africa, has since spread around the world, with cases soaring in the U.S.
The November 29 ban initially barred nearly all non-U.S. citizens who had recently been in South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Namibia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. However, President Biden has elected to remove the ban based on the advice of his medical team, which indicated that existing vaccines are effective against severe disease related to Omicron.
The travel ban will be formally lifted at midnight on December 31.