Biden signs travel ban to South Africa to slow the spread of the new Covid-19 strain


On January 22, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden signs Executive Orders for economic relief for families and businesses affected by Covid in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC.

Nicholas Comb | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden will sign a travel ban on Monday for most non-U.S. Citizens entering the country that was recently in South Africa, where a new strain of Covid-19 was identified, two White House officials told NBC News .

Biden will also reintroduce travel restrictions lifted in January by former President Donald Trump, which would ban non-US citizens from the UK, Ireland and much of Europe. Brazil would also be affected.

Reuters reported on the travel restrictions for the first time on Sunday. Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant chief director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the point of sale that the agency “is introducing this series of measures to protect Americans and also reduce the risk of these variants spreading and worsening the current pandemic.” . “

Before Biden took office, the new White House press secretary Jen Psaki criticized Trump’s efforts to lift international travel restrictions despite more contagious variants emerging around the world.

“We plan to step up public health measures related to international travel to further contain the spread of Covid-19,” Psaki wrote in a tweet.

White House Health Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said that available vaccines against new, more contagious strains of Covid-19 appear to be less effective but likely still offer enough protection to be worth buying.

The CDC also announced that it will remove the option for airlines flying from countries that do not have Covid-19 tests to apply for temporary exemptions for some travelers. The agency will implement the order on Tuesday.

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