WASHINGTON — The U.S. will lift travel restrictions to eight southern African countries on New Year’s Eve, the White House announced Friday.
Last month’s restrictions were imposed to stop the COVID Omicron variant spreading.
Nearly all non-American citizens were prohibited from traveling to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe after the Nov. 29 ban.
Kevin Munoz (White House spokesperson) stated that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the move. Munoz explained that scientists needed time to examine the new variant of the virus, and concluded that current vaccines were effective in mitigating its impacts.
Omicron has been spreading quickly throughout the U.S.A, even among those who have been vaccinated. However, a large number of people being admitted are not vaccinated.
“The restrictions gave us time to understand Omicron and we know our existing vaccines work against Omicron, esp boosted,” Munoz wrote on Twitter.