Unique: Biden faces South Africa journey ban to struggle new COVID-19 variant – CDC

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden will impose a ban on most non-US residents getting into the nation that has lately been in South Africa since Saturday in an try and comprise the unfold of a brand new variant of COVID-19, an aged American public informed well being officers Reuters.

Biden on Monday additionally reintroduces an entry ban for nearly all non-US vacationers who’ve been to Brazil, the UK, Eire and 26 nations in Europe that enable journey throughout open borders.

“We’re including South Africa to the restricted record because of the present variant current which has already unfold exterior South Africa,” mentioned Dr Anne Schuchat, CDC’s Govt Director, in an interview on Sunday.

She added that the company “launched this set of measures to guard Individuals and likewise to cut back the chance of those variants spreading and exacerbating the present pandemic.”

On January 18, then-President Donald Trump directed these restrictions on Brazil and Europe might be lifted with impact on Tuesday, however Biden’s announcement will elevate the choice.

Biden, who took workplace on Wednesday, is taking an aggressive strategy to combating the unfold of the virus after Trump rejected a mandate demanded by US well being officers.

Some well being officers are involved that present vaccines will not be efficient towards the South African variant, which additionally will increase the chance of re-infection.

The South African variant, also called the 501Y.V2 variant, is 50% extra contagious and has been detected in at the least 20 nations. CDC officers informed Reuters they’d be open to including extra nations to the record if wanted.

The South African variant has not but been discovered within the US however at the least 20 US states have found a UK variant referred to as B.1.1.7. Present vaccines seem like efficient towards British mutations.

The South African embassy in Washington didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

CDC ORDERS ARE COMING

The Middle for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) chief Rochelle Walensky will signal a separate order on Monday requiring masks on all plane, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis and automobiles for all vacationers two and older, officers mentioned. The brand new necessities will take impact within the subsequent few days, they mentioned, and masks may be eliminated for brief durations whereas consuming or ingesting.

On Tuesday, new CDC guidelines come into pressure that require all worldwide air vacationers 2 and older to current a detrimental coronavirus check taken inside three calendar days of the journey or proof of restoration from COVID-19 to enter america.

The CDC is not going to, as said on 12 January, think about granting short-term exemptions to airways to be able to exempt sure vacationers from nations with restricted check capability. Many US airways final week had requested the CDC for an exemption, airline officers say.

However CDC officers mentioned they’d think about humanitarian exceptions on a case-by-case foundation for some vacationers if wanted.

CDC officers famous that 120 nations at the moment have obligatory COVID-19 check necessities for worldwide journey.

The CDC order states that vacationers ought to self-quarantine for seven days after returning to america and think about getting a brand new COVID-19 check inside three to 5 days of returning to america.

“With the pandemic worsening and these extra contagious variants rising, it isn’t time to elevate restrictions on worldwide journey,” Schuchat mentioned.

CDC officers have been discussing for weeks the potential for including these check necessities earlier than US home flights or requiring testing on return from worldwide journey, however haven’t made any selections.

The US restrictions that stop most guests from Europe have been in place since mid-March when Trump signed proclamations to introduce them, whereas the Brazilian entry ban was launched in Could. The restriction, along with the brand new South Africans, implies that most non-US residents who’ve been to certainly one of these nations for the previous 14 days should not eligible to journey to america.

Everlasting U.S. residents and relations and sure different non-U.S. Residents could return to america underneath the Order.

Underneath Trump, the CDC’s strain on mandate masks was blocked throughout transit and the company issued solely sturdy suggestions for masks use, and officers initially blocked the mandate for COVID-19 testing for UK vacationers earlier than releasing it on December 24.

Trump opposed Congress’ efforts to demand masks throughout transportation. Airways have required passengers to put on masks and a few native authorities require mandate equipment.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Edited by Lisa Shumaker

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