No new US lockdowns after new Covid variant: Biden

  • : Crude oil
  • 21/11/29

The US authorities will not introduce additional restrictions on travel and economic activity following the emergence of the new Covid-19 variant, known as Omicron, President Joe Biden said today.

"There is no need for lockdowns if people are vaccinated and wear masks," Biden said following a White House briefing with US government health scientists. The US on 26 November joined other countries in Europe and Asia in imposing a ban on air travel from South Africa and seven other countries in Africa's southern tip, but does not, for now, plan to broaden travel restrictions, Biden said.

The White House on 2 December will unveil a strategy for tackling the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in the winter season, Biden said. The plan is to address the pandemic "not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but more widespread vaccinations, boosters and testing."

News of the emergence of a new variant weighed on oil and equity markets globally last week, with crude futures falling sharply lower on 26 November. But Biden said that "this variant is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic."

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