U.S. to lift travel ban on southern Africa
The U.S. will lift travel restrictions on eight southern African countries that it imposed to try to blunt the spread of the COVID omicron variant, the White House announced Friday.
The variant, which was first detected by scientists in South Africa, has since spread around the world. The World Health Organization and leaders in southern Africa criticized the travel ban as ineffective and unfairly damaging to local economies.
The Nov. 29 ban barred nearly all nonU.S. citizens who had recently been in South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Namibia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The restrictions will be lifted on New Year’s Eve.