(WASHINGTON) — The temporary travel ban placed on eight Southern African countries will be lifted by the New Year, the White House announced Friday.

The restrictions were initially issued Nov. 29 in an effort to curb the spread of the new COVID-19 omicron variant. It limited travel for all non-U.S. citizens coming from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Namibia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.


White House Assistant Press Secretary Kevin Munoz tweeted Friday saying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the change now that we know vaccines and boosters are effective against the variant.

The restrictions will be lifted the morning of New Year’s Eve.

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