US President Joe Biden has formally announced he will lift a ban this week on travel from South Africa and other countries in the region, imposed due to fear of the Omicron variant.

“The travel restrictions … are no longer necessary to protect the public health” and will at end 12:01am in Washington on Friday (05:01 GMT), Biden said in a statement.

Biden said that he was lifting the bans on the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While the coronavirus strain has now spread to more than 100 countries including the United States, the threat level is considered lower than initially feared because “scientific experts have determined that people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 are protected against severe disease,” Biden said.


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