Travel restricted from South Africa, several other countries due to omicron variant

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — It’s only a matter of time before the omicron variant of the coronavirus arrives in Colorado. 

After a busy holiday travel weekend, travel to the U.S. from certain countries is now prohibited.  

The travel ban starts Monday and impacts travel from several countries in the southern part of Africa where the new variant was discovered. 

Countries from where the president has suspended entry into the United States:

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

President Joe Biden proclaimed non-U.S. citizens are banned from traveling to the U.S. if they have spent the last 14 days in any of the countries listed above effective Monday. 

U.S. citizens who were in one of those countries the last two weeks are still allowed to come home. However, the U.S. Department of State is advising all Americans not to travel to South Africa.   

The new variant was detected in North America on Sunday.

The Medical Director at National Jewish Health Dr. Carrie Horn, said they’re already working to track any possible cases of omicron in Colorado.

Horn said they do this by taking random positive COVID-19 tests and mapping their genome sequence.

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