Biden lifts Omicron travel ban on 8 Southern African countries



U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday, Dec. 28, lifted travel restrictions imposed against eight Southern African countries over the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Under the presidential Proclamation 10315 issued on Nov. 29, foreign travelers were barred from entering the U.S. if they had been in any of the countries within the past 14 days. The order applied to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi.

Biden issued another proclamation revoking the initial order, noting that developments made in understanding the new strain had rendered it unnecessary.

"Having learned more about the Omicron variant in the past several weeks, the CDC now recommends lifting the travel restrictions imposed in Proclamation 10315," the president's proclamation pointed out.

"In light of these changed circumstances, and based on the recommendation of the CDC, I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to revoke Proclamation 10315. The travel restrictions imposed by that proclamation are no longer necessary to protect the public health."