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Biden reportedly restricts journey to South Africa, the UK and Brazil to decelerate new strains of Covid

US President Joe Biden signs economic relief orders for families and businesses affected by Covid in the state dining room of the White House in Washington, DC on January 22, 2021.

Nicholas Comb | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden will sign a travel ban on Monday for most non-U.S. Residents entering the country that was recently in South Africa, where a new strain of Covid-19 was identified, a person familiar with the situation told CNBC .

Biden will also reintroduce travel restrictions on the entry of non-US citizens from the UK and Brazil, where new strains of Covid have emerged. The restrictions also apply to Ireland and much of Europe. Former President Donald Trump lifted the restrictions shortly before Biden took office.

Reuters reported on the travel restrictions for the first time on Sunday.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant chief director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the point of sale that the agency is “introducing this series of measures to protect Americans and also reduce the risk of these variants spreading and worsening the current pandemic.” . “

Before Biden took office, the new White House press secretary Jen Psaki criticized Trump’s efforts to lift international travel restrictions, despite more contagious variants emerging around the world.

“We plan to step up public health measures related to international travel to further contain the spread of Covid-19,” Psaki wrote in a tweet.

In a proclamation last Monday, Trump ordered the lifting of the travel restrictions his administration had put in place at the beginning of the pandemic for most non-US citizens who had been in large parts of Europe, Great Britain and Brazil from January 26.

At that time, the U.S. government will begin providing U.S. air travelers, including U.S. citizens, with the latest negative Covid-19 test results before boarding flights.

White House Health Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, said that available vaccines against new, more contagious strains of Covid-19 appear to be less effective, but that they are likely still to offer enough protection to be worthwhile.

The CDC also announced on Sunday that it will remove the option for airlines flying from countries that have not had Covid-19 tests to request temporary exemptions for some travelers. The agency will implement the order on Tuesday.

The virus has infected more than 25 million people and killed at least 417,000 people in the US since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The US has not yet discovered any cases of the South African variant, but several states have discovered the British variant.

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