Politico: Omicron wave - How to do travel restrictions right this time - CARE

Politico: Omicron wave - How to do travel restrictions right this time

A traveler stands in front of a flight information board at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020. | Jeff Chiu/AP Photo

A traveler stands in front of a flight information board at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020. | Jeff Chiu/AP Photo

President Joe Biden is mulling new travel restrictions to slow the spread of Omicron in the U.S., as a new Morning Consult poll shows nearly 80 percent of U.S. adults back a ban on arrivals from eight southern African countries that went into effect Monday.

The latest ban was imposed on the region where the heavily mutated coronavirus variant Omicron was originally identified, though experts have not established where the variant started.

The first U.S. case of Omicron was identified in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed on Wednesday.

Possible forthcoming measures identified by the White House include more aggressive pre-arrival testing and a self-quarantine system for international arrivals. These are tools that could help make travel restrictions more effective in potentially slowing down the spread of the virus from international arrival, health experts say. They also argue that blanket national bans are a blunt tool, and that wider distribution of vaccines in low-income countries and observance of mask wearing and social distancing remain more effective in responding to the virus.

Read the full story at Politico