Omicron variant spread: US to limit travel from 8 southern Africa countries

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The United States will restrict travel from South Africa and seven other countries starting Monday over concerns of a “heavily mutated” COVID-19 variant, senior administration officials said.

The Biden administration will follow advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and restrict travel from several African nations following the identification of variant B.1.1.529, which appears to be highly contagious among young people. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) identified the variant as a “variant of concern” that officials first noted in South Africa. 

The variant has been identified in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi as well. 

About a dozen other countries, including the United Kingdom, will create similar travel restrictions. 

Travel restrictions will not apply to American citizens and lawful permanent residents, but all international travelers must test negative prior to travel. 

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