President Biden signs Travel Ban due to COVID-19 variant


President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room at the White House, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in Washington. Biden is announcing sweeping new federal vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans in an all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (WDVM) – President Biden has signed a travel restriction proclamation banning travelers from certain parts of southern Africa to the U.S. due to the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron.

The order, which starts Monday, Nov. 29, will only permit travelers from restricted countries if they are citizens or legal residents of the United States. The countries include South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Eswatini, Malawi, and Mozambique.

There are no direct flights from the restricted countries into the major airports in the D.C. area, including Reagan National, BWI Marshall, and Dulles.

Health officials say measures like this are necessary.

“You assume something that might be worse than it is, but better that than underestimating, so you don’t want people to panic, but you want to know that we’re doing everything we can to stay ahead of this,” said Dr. Fauci.

The order will remain in effect until terminated by the President.

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