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Southern African Travel Ban November 26, 2021

Nov 29 2021

In response to the identification of a new COVID variant named Omicron, President Biden issued a Proclamation on November 26, 2021, barring the entry of any persons who have been present in any of eight southern African countries during the 14 days prior to entry to the U.S. The ban takes effect at 12:01 AM EST on November 29th .

Those countries are:

  • Republic of Botswana
  • Kingdom of Eswatini
  • Kingdom of Lesotho
  • Republic of Malawi
  • Republic of Mozambique
  • Republic of Namibia
  • Republic of South Africa
  • Republic of Zimbabwe

Exceptions are U.S. citizens and permanent residents, as well as “a noncitizen whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designees.” At this writing, neither the Department of State nor the Department of Homeland Security have published the eligibility criteria for this national interest exception (NIE). Persons seeking entry to the U.S. after Nov. 29th traveling from those countries should not assume that the NIEs they received under previous geographic travel bans will be available under this new Proclamation.