Biden lifts restrictions on entry from southern Africa

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) – US President Joe Biden is lifting the restrictions imposed on entry from countries in southern Africa due to Omikron on December 31. The restrictions are no longer necessary to protect public health, according to a directive published on Tuesday. The move does not come as a surprise. US media had already reported on the weekend. Biden had previously stated that he wanted to review the restrictions.

Omikron was first detected in southern Africa at the end of November. To slow the spread, the US government then imposed strict restrictions on entry from several countries in southern Africa, including South Africa and Zimbabwe. The only exceptions were US citizens and a few other groups, such as diplomats. The African states concerned criticized the restrictions, some fiercely.

He has taken this measure to slow down the spread of the Omikron variant in the USA, Biden said now. Since then, there has been significant progress in the knowledge about the new variant. The corona vaccination would also protect Omikron from serious illnesses. In addition, the variant has now spread to more than 100 countries and is also widespread in the United States./nau/DP/stw

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