President Joe Biden said Tuesday that he is “considering” reversing travel restrictions from South Africa and other African countries imposed by his government last November after the appearance of the omicron variant.
Biden responded this way to journalists after his speech about the new variant of covid-19, whose presence in the United States was confirmed on December 1 after a case reported in California.
“I am going to speak with my team in the next few days,” added the president, who admitted that it is a matter that doctors are raising with him.
The president justified that the decision was adopted to determine how long they had before an omicron case was detected in the country and to determine what they needed to face it.
Washington’s ban, which came into effect on November 29, affects travelers from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia. Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi.
Earlier this month, the US government’s top epidemiologist, Anthony Fauci, said he expected the United States to review these travel restrictions within “a reasonable period of time.”
The measure has been harshly criticized, even by the World Health Organization (WHO), for “penalizing” those countries after detecting the new variant of covid-19.