As the number of positive cases with COVID-19 is on the rise and Omicron, the new strain of COVID-19 has surfaced, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, has signed a proclamation that bans entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants from countries that are considered as epidemiologically high risk. 

The document aims to mitigate movement in a greater attempt to prevent the further spread of the new virus variant, which originates in South Africa, VisaGuide.World reports. 

“The entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of noncitizens who were physically present within the Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States is hereby suspended and limited subject to section 2 of this proclamation,” the notice reads. 

Moreover, section two of the American constitution suspends and limits the entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants, especially those from the before mentioned African countries, who are residents of these countries or have been present in any of them in the past two weeks.

For now, only the following categories coming from the South African region are allowed to enter the American territory:

  • Permanent residents of the United States
  • Noncitizen national and their spouses, siblings, or children who reside in the United States
  • IR-4,1H-4, C-1, D, C-1/D visa holders
  • Those transiting through the States

Furthermore, the epidemiological situation in the country is also concerning, as almost 48 million positive cases have been reported in the country since the pandemic started, and more than 773,000 deaths related to the virus.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) data, during the last seven days, 508,779 positive cases have been registered in the US, in addition to 2,833 fatalities.

Furthermore, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) map reveals that the list of very-high risk areas, which are represented with dark red, currently includes Russia, the majority of the EU (except for Sweden, Finland, Italy, Spain, France, and Portugal), Suriname and French Guiana, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and all countries in the Southern region of Africa, in addition to Somalia, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Niger, and Burkina Faso.

“Make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to these destinations. Unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel to these destinations,” CDC advises American travelers.

At present, the only countries that don’t contain a high epidemiological risk include China, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Liberia, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Sudan, Taiwan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, and Zambia.

So far, 573,238,255 have been distributed in the US, with 460,773,508 being administered to the population.

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