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This travel suspension is no longer in effect.

UPDATE (12/28/2021): As expected and previously announced by news media, the Biden Administration has released a new Presidential Proclamation that officially revokes the previous Presidential Proclamation that had imposed 14-day entry restrictions on persons coming to the US from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. The revocation goes into effect at 12:01am EST on December 31, 2021. Please note that despite this revocation, air travelers to the US will still need to comply with COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements.


As widely reported in news media outlets, the Biden Administration has announced a COVID-19 entry suspension on certain countries in southern Africa due to the recent emergence of the new 'Omicron' variant of COVID-19. Due to this development, the Proclamation orders the suspension of entry into the US - with certain exceptions - for non-US citizens or permanent residents who were physically present in the following countries within 14 days prior to coming to the US:

  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe

The entry suspension goes into effect at 12:01am Eastern Standard Time on Monday, November 29, 2021. Read the full Presidential Proclamation.

Tufts international students, scholars, and faculty who are currently in one of these countries or who have upcoming plans to travel to one of these countries should evaluate travel plans to the US in light of this sudden development. At this time, there is no information as to whether or not F-1 students will be granted national interest exception (NIE) approvals allowing them to enter the US from these countries even if they were in the region within 14 days prior seeking entry to the US. Please be advised that the International Center is continuing to monitor these ongoing developments. If you have any questions about your specific situation, we encourage you to contact us at

Updated (12/6/2021)

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) previously issued to F-1 students or any other non-US visitors do not apply to travelers arriving to the US from the countries listed above in the November 26 Presidential Proclamation. Accordingly, the COVID-19 entry suspension will be applied to all non-US citizens / permanent residents barred from direct travel to the US if they were physically present in the above countries within 14 days of attempting to enter the US. Read the CBP announcement here.