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Biden Administration Issues New Travel Ban from Certain African Nations Among Omicron Variant Concerns

On November 24th, 2021, the Republic of South Africa informed the world of a new variant of COVID-19, known now as the Omicron variant. This variant has been deemed fast spreading and very easy to transmit between people. That same day, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the Omicron variant is a variant of concern. The WHO has reported that the Omicron variant has been increasing rapidly across the Republic of South Africa and has spread to multiple other nations that border it.

The Biden administration has now decided to ban travel from certain African nations for the foreseeable future. These nations are:

  • Republic of Botswana
  • Kingdom of Eswatini
  • Kingdom of Lesotho
  • Republic of Malawi
  • Republic of Mozambique
  • Republic of Namibia
  • Republic of South Africa
  • Republic of Zimbabwe

The U.S. has specifically banned entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants who are noncitizens of the U.S. if they were present in any of these countries 14 days preceding their entry or attempted entry into the U.S. The new travel ban does not apply to U.S. citizens or U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs). This ban began at 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time on November 29, 2021.

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