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U.S. to restrict travel to South Africa, 7 more countries after new COVID-19 variant

People wait to get vaccinated at a shopping mall, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday Nov....
People wait to get vaccinated at a shopping mall, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday Nov. 26, 2021.(Denis Farrell | AP Photo/Denis Farrell)
Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 1:21 PM CST
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NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) - The U.S. will ban travel from South Africa, 7 other African nations by non-US citizens beginning Monday due to COVID-19 variant.

The new coronavirus variant has been dubbed “omicron.”

A World Health Organization panel has classified it as a highly transmissible virus of concern. Its discovery in southern Africa sent a chill through much of the world as nations raced to halt air travel, markets fell sharply and scientists held emergency meetings.

The overall risks of omicron are not yet known. But the United States, the 27-nation European Union and some other countries quickly announced restrictions on travel from southern Africa and stepped up other precautions

This is a breaking news update. NBC15 News will provide more information as it becomes available.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.