The United States has restricted travels from South Africa and seven other southern African countries so that they can contain a new covid-19 variant which is spreading in that part of the region.
On Monday, United States citizens and residents will be allowed to travel from the region.
This recent development follows a similar flight ban that the EU and UK imposed. Canada also introduced travel restrictions.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had earlier declared that the new Covid-19 variant is of concern and is named “Omicron.”
United States officials say that flights from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Malawi will be blocked, and the ban will be in effect on Monday, November 29, 2021.
President Joe Biden said in a statement that this development is for precautionary measures until health and medical experts research and find theories about the new Covid-19 variant.
Canada has also shut down its borders to foreign travellers who have recently gone to the seven southern African countries.
Foreign citizens might be banned from staying in Canada if they have been to any of the seven southern African countries for the past 14 days.
The Omicron variant is believed to have originated in South Africa on November 24, 2021, and since then, they have identified the new Covid-19 variant in six other southern African countries, which were mentioned at the beginning of this article.
South Africa’s health ministry has criticized the rush to impose new travel restrictions as they call them “draconian” and says the new development is contrary to WHO guidance.
Scientists and experts say they still have a lot to learn about the new virus variant, and the World Health Organisation (WHO), said it would take a few weeks to understand the impact of the new virus variant, as experts are still working to determine how easily it can be transmitted.
But on Friday, the WHO said the first evidence suggests that the new virus variant carries a higher risk of reinfection than other variants.