The United States is considering easing travel restrictions to Southern African countries as the infection rates of the Omicron covid-19 variant is on the rise, top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Monday.
“We likely are going to pull back on that pretty soon because we have enough infection in our own country,” Fauci said at the National Press Club. “We’re letting in people from other countries that have as much or more infection than the Southern African countries. So likely we are going to look at that very carefully to see if we can pull back.”
On November 29, the U.S. barred nearly all foreign nationals if they had been in one of eight southern African countries that include South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi within the last 14 days.
No specific data was stated for when the restrictions might be lifted but travel industry officials said it could happen as soon as this week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last month ordered airlines to disclose passenger names and other information about those who have recently been in the eight southern African countries.