White House Doesn’t Anticipate Further Omicron Travel Restrictions

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103 shares, 164 points

While the U.S. travel ban to and from South Africa and seven other southern African nations began on Monday, President Joe Biden on Monday said he doesn’t anticipate any further travel restrictions related to the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.

The new strain was discovered in South Africa, prompting the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan and more than a dozen other countries to impose travel restrictions that also include the African countries of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi.

Biden addressed the nation on Monday and called for caution, but not panic. Medical experts say the severity and transmissibility of the Omicron variant will not be known for at least a week or two, but when asked if there will be further travel bans, Biden said, “I don’t anticipate that at this point,” he said according to CNBC.

Biden also said he did not believe the U.S. would have to go into lockdown as much of the country did last year, though he emphasized that taking the vaccine and the followup booster shots are still important.

The travel restriction on the southern African countries comes three weeks after the U.S. reopened its borders to international visitors on November 8 after more than a year.

Still, the new variant was problematic enough to cause concern for Wall Street as travel-related stocks tumbled on Friday, November 26

“Let’s remember where we stand: we’re in a very different place as we enter the month of December this month compared to where we were last Christmas,” Biden said, again urging the country not to panic as he outlined a series of favorable comparative numbers of vaccination rates between December 2020 and the 2021 holiday season.

For the latest insight on travel around the world, check out this interactive guide:



Source: TravelPulse


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164
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