U.S. to Lift Southern Africa Travel Ban
The White House indicates that it intends to lift the regional travel ban restricting travel from eight southern African countries effective December 31, 2021 at 12:01 am ET.
The regional travel ban restricting travel from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe was short-lived. It was initially imposed on November 29, 2021 in response to the emergence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, and was met with widespread criticism as the variant spread in non-restricted countries. According to the White House, lifting of the ban comes at the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is based on a greater understanding of how vaccines work against the Omicron variant.
Individuals traveling into the U.S. by air remain subject to the COVID-19 vaccination requirements under Proclamation 10294, as well as related CDC travel requirements, including updated COVID-19 testing requirements.
A Caution Regarding Testing
Travelers who are in the U.S. and who require a negative COVID-19 test to return to their country of origin are cautioned that the demand for testing in some areas of the U.S. has surged with the Omicron variant. Once a test is secured, it may take 5-7 days to obtain test results, particularly in connection with PCR testing, making compliance with travel testing requirements difficult. Individuals in the U.S. requiring a negative COVID-19 test to return abroad should plan accordingly.
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