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U.S. will begin new travel restrictions amid concerns over a new coronavirus variant

A resident from the Alexandra township gets tested for the coronavirus in 2020. A new coronavirus variant has been detected in South Africa that scientists say is a concern because of its high number of mutations and rapid spread among young people in the heavily populated province of Gauteng.

Jerome Delay/AP


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Jerome Delay/AP


A resident from the Alexandra township gets tested for the coronavirus in 2020. A new coronavirus variant has been detected in South Africa that scientists say is a concern because of its high number of mutations and rapid spread among young people in the heavily populated province of Gauteng.

Jerome Delay/AP

The U.S. will implement new travel restrictions in response to the new variant of the coronavirus, senior officials with the Biden administration said.

The policy will begin Monday, and it affects travel from:

  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe

U.S. citizens and permanent residents will not be affected by the restrictions, the officials said.

The World Health Organization also announced Friday that it is calling the new variant omicron, labeling it a “variant of concern.”

This is a breaking news story. As often happens in situations like these, some information reported earlier may turn out to be inaccurate. We’ll move quickly to correct the record, and we’ll only point to the best information we have at the time.

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