Newly elected US President Joe Biden is set to introduce a sweeping set of changes, which will radically alter America’s current strategy for tackling Covid-19. It’s understood that a whole host of countries will face tougher restrictions when travelling stateside – but practically anyone coming from South Africa will be subject to an outright ‘travel ban’.
As reported by Reuters, the new measures will prevent ‘nearly every non-US citizen’ from entering the vast nation, if they have recently passed through SA beforehand.
The new variant of COVID-19 is causing all sorts of headaches for scientists. There’s a growing belief that this strain has mutated so much, the current crop of vaccines won’t be able to kill the virus. Preliminary studies show that these shots can be ‘50% less effective’ when tackling the 501Y.V2 variant.
Joe Biden and his colleagues will, therefore, pursue the following actions on implementing tactical travel bans:
Dr. Anne Schuchat is a senior official for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She made it clear that the spread of the new variant – which is now present in at least 20 other countries – poses a serious risk for America, too:
“We are adding South Africa to the restricted [travel ban] list because of the concerning variant present that has already spread beyond South Africa. The agency is putting in place this suite of measures to protect Americans and also to reduce the risk of these variants spreading and worsening the current pandemic.”
Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s principal deputy director, on the US travel ban