U.S. President Joe Biden expands restrictions on people from Europe and Brazil, adding South Africa to the list.
Biden signed an executive order barring most non-U.S. citizens who have recently visited South Africa from entering the United States beginning Saturday. Similar restrictions were reintroduced for Europeans and Brazilians, as Trump rescinded the previous order.
The ban applies to all non-American citizens who have traveled to Brazil, Britain, Ireland and 26 countries in Europe. “With the pandemic worsening and more contagious strains spreading, now is not the time to lift international travel restrictions,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing.
The South African variant of the 501Y.V2 coronavirus is 50 percent more contagious than the conventional strain and has been detected in at least 20 countries.