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World NewsU.S. to restrict travel from South Africa, 7 other nations

U.S. to restrict travel from South Africa, 7 other nations

People line up to get on an abroad flight at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday Nov. 26, 2021.

Jerome Delay | AP

WASHINGTON – The United States will restrict travel for non-U.S. residents from South Africa and 7 other nations beginning on Monday, a part of a worldwide effort to stem the unfold of the closely mutated omicron variant of Covid-19, in accordance to senior Biden administration officers.

In addition to South Africa, the affected nations are Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.

The choice got here lower than three weeks after the Biden administration lifted pandemic travel restrictions on guests from greater than 30 nations.

President Joe Biden was briefed on Friday by White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci. The briefing got here as other nations introduced travel restrictions on southern Africa. The variant emerged in South America.

The European Union and the U.Ok. travel restrictions Friday on southern Africa, at the same time as Belgian officers introduced that a number of circumstances of the omicron variant had already been recognized there.

The World Health Organization on Friday assigned the newly recognized variant the Greek letter omicron, and formally acknowledged the pressure, beforehand referred to as lineage B.1.1.529, as a “variant of concern.”

Health consultants are deeply involved in regards to the transmissibility of the omicron variant provided that it has an uncommon constellation of mutations and a profile that’s totally different from other variants of concern. It will not be clear how extreme infections could be for vaccinated sufferers.

It is feared a pointy upswing of Covid circumstances in South Africa’s Gauteng province — the place the closely mutated pressure of the virus was first recognized — may imply it has larger potential to escape prior immunity than other variants.

The designation of a brand new variant of concern coupled with mounting alarm from well being officers despatched world markets right into a tailspin on Friday. Oil costs and travel and leisure shares took heavy losses on the information.

This is breaking information. Check again for updates.

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