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Biden Administration to lift travel restrictions on 8 southern African countries

Dec. 24, 2021
2 min read
Biden Administration to lift travel restrictions on 8 southern African countries
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A ban on foreign nationals arriving to the U.S. from eight southern African countries will be lifted at 12:01 a.m. E.T. on Dec. 31, according to Reuters.

The travel restriction was imposed on Nov. 29 after the discovery of the omicron variant by South African scientists in early November. The ban applies to almost all non-U.S. citizens who had traveled to Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe or South Africa 14 days prior to traveling to the U.S.

The World Health Organization (WHO) labeled omicron a variant of concern on Nov. 26.

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A U.S. official stated that U.S. public health agencies recommended lifting the travel restrictions for several reasons, including the widespread transmission of the variant in the. U.S. despite the ban and that existing vaccines and boosters are expected to be "highly effective."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases, stated that the ban was likely lifted because of the high rate of infections already in the country. Fauci also pointed out that the U.S. did not bar entry for visitors from other countries with similar or higher infection rates.

The U.K. has also lifted its ban on 11 southern African countries from its recently reinstated travel red list. The list included the same countries as the U.S. as well as Angola, Nigeria and Zambia. Visitors to the U.K. from red list countries were required to self-isolate in quarantine hotels for up to 10 days at a cost of over $3,000.

The EU will uphold its late November decision to suspend travel from southern Africa despite the variant continuing to spread throughout Europe. Brussels urged lifting the "inefficient" ban over the omicron variant but member nations are reluctant to drop it at this time, according to the EU's Justice Commissioner Didier Reynolds.

Featured image by Getty Images
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases