Newly elected US President Joe Biden is set to introduce a sweeping set of changes, which will radically alter America’s current strategy for tackling coronavirus. It’s understood that a whole host of countries will face tougher restrictions when travelling stateside – but practically anyone coming from South Africa will be subject to an outright ‘travel ban’.
As reported by Reuters, the new measures will prevent ‘nearly every non-US citizen’ from entering the vast nation, if they have recently passed through SA beforehand.
Visitors from South Africa set for ‘US travel ban’
The new variant of COVID-19, which originated in Mzansi, is causing all sorts of headaches for scientists. There’s a growing belief that this strain has mutated so much, the current crop of vaccines won’t be able to kill the virus. Preliminary studies show that these shots can be ‘50% less effective’ when tackling the 501Y.V2 variant.
Joe Biden and his colleagues will, therefore, pursue the following actions on implementing tactical travel bans:
- ‘Almost all’ non-US citizens who’ve recently been in South Africa will be banned from entering America.
- A further entry ban is planned for travelers who have been in Brazil, the UK, Ireland, and any of the 26 EU nations. New strains from Brazil and the UK are largely to blame for these impending restrictions.
- The South African variant has not yet been found in the United States – but Biden is seeking a quick response.
- The first of these measures will come into effect on Monday, with the SA-centric laws enforced by Saturday.
Joe Biden cracks down on open borders
Dr. Anne Schuchat is a senior official for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She made it clear that the spread of the new variant – which is now present in at least 20 other countries – poses a serious risk for America, too:
“We are adding South Africa to the restricted [travel ban] list because of the concerning variant present that has already spread beyond South Africa. The agency is putting in place this suite of measures to protect Americans and also to reduce the risk of these variants spreading and worsening the current pandemic.”
Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s principal deputy director, on the US travel ban
JUST IN: Reuters reports that Biden Administration will impose ban on entry of most non-US citizens who have recently been in South Africa, amid emergence of new coronavirus variant.
— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) January 24, 2021