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Biden administration to extend travel bans to South Africa

Washington: US President Joe Biden plans to ban travel by non-citizens into the United States from South Africa because of concern about a coronavirus variant spreading in that country, a White House official said.

The move comes just days after Dr Anthony Fauci, the government’s leading infectious disease specialist, told reporters at the White House that “we’re following very carefully” the variant of the virus in South Africa because it appears to be more highly contagious and might be somewhat less responsive to the vaccines in use today.

On his last full day in office, former president Donald Trump tried to end the COVID-19-related ban on travel from Europe and Brazil, saying it was no longer necessary.

People pass a sign at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, indicating a COVID testing station.

People pass a sign at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, indicating a COVID testing station.Credit:AP

Jen Psaki, now the White House press secretary, said at the time that ending the ban was the wrong thing to do and she indicated that Biden would not allow that to happen. A White House official said on Sunday, US time, that Biden would extend the travel ban on those areas in the coming days.

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