Travelers wear face masks and personal protective equipment on the arrivals level inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday.(Photo: Agencies)
US President Joe Biden signed an order on Monday barring most non-US citizens who have recently been in South Africa from entering the United States, effective on Saturday.
Biden’s order also reimposes an entry ban, set to expire yesterday, on nearly all non-US travelers who have been in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland and 26 countries in Europe. Last week, then-President Donald Trump revoked those restrictions.
“With the pandemic worsening and more contagious variants spreading, this isn’t the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel,” White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said.
Some health officials are concerned current vaccines may not be effective against the South Africa COVID-19 variant, which is 50 percent more infectious than the regular strain and has been detected in at least 20 countries.
New rules took effect yesterday requiring all international arrivals aged 2 and above to present a negative coronavirus test taken within three calendar days of travel or proof of recovery from COVID-19 to enter the US.