Oh, Willy! It was just last month the U.S. announced that the travel ban was ending, but things have changed again.
The biggest changes are that all travelers to the U.S. will need to get tested within one calendar day and those present in several south African nations in the past two weeks will be banned from entering1 to prevent the spread of Omicron variant.
The new testing procedure goes into effect next week and the exact date hasn't been announced yet.
For more details, here's the latest White House briefing:
Early next week, the United States will tighten pre-departure testing protocols by requiring all inbound international travelers to test within one day of departure globally, regardless of nationality or vaccination status. This tighter testing timeline provides an added degree of public health protection as scientists continue to assess the Omicron variant.
Regarding the African ban
If you were have been in southern Africa for the past two weeks, cancel those plans to the U.S.
The U.S. is banning non-citizens that have been in 8 southern African countries for the past 14 days. Though the ban is in effect, it doesn't totally make sense because the Omicron variant has been detected in other countries.
Regardless, the list of countries included in the ban are:
- South Africa
Like the previous travel ban, it omits certain travelers, particularly U.S. citizens and residents. Here is who is exempted:
Sec. 2. Scope of Suspension and Limitation on Entry.
(a) Section 1 of this proclamation shall not apply to:
(i) any lawful permanent resident of the United States;
(ii) any noncitizen national of the United States;
(iii) any noncitizen who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
(iv) any noncitizen who is the parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21;
(v) any noncitizen who is the sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21;
(vi) any noncitizen who is the child, foster child, or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
(vii) any noncitizen traveling at the invitation of the United States Government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus;
(viii) any noncitizen traveling as a nonimmigrant pursuant to a C-1, D, or C-1/D nonimmigrant visa as a crewmember or any noncitizen otherwise traveling to the United States as air or sea crew;
(ix) any noncitizen
(A) seeking entry into or transiting the United States pursuant to one of the following visas: A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3 (as a foreign government official or immediate family member of an official), E-1 (as an employee of TECRO or TECO or the employee’s immediate family members), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4, or NATO-6 (or seeking to enter as a nonimmigrant in one of those NATO categories); or
(B) whose travel falls within the scope of section 11 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement;
(x) any noncitizen who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces or who is a spouse or child of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces;
(xi) any noncitizen whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee; or
(xii) any noncitizen or group of noncitizens whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designees.
(b) Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to affect any individual’s eligibility for asylum, withholding of removal, or protection under the regulations issued pursuant to the legislation implementing the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, consistent with the laws and regulations of the United States.
- American citizens and those that have some American affiliation are excluded from this. ↩