In an effort to slow the transmission of COVID-19, President Biden is expected to sign sweeping travel restrictions on most non-U.S. citizens from multiple countries around the world.
Biden's travel ban would prevent entry into the United States for non-Americans from countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, and 26 different countries in Europe.
Former President Donald Trump had enacted similar border restrictions during his term, but then ordered their repeal shortly before leaving office. Those restrictions were set to expire on Tuesday, but Biden's actions will now keep them in place.
The addition of South Africa to the travel ban list comes after scientists identified the emergence of a new COVID-19 strain originating there.
The Centers for Disease Control announced on Sunday that all international travelers will be required to present negative coronavirus tests, without exception.
"As variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus continue to emerge in countries around the world, there is growing evidence of increased transmissibility of some of these variants, as well as unknown health and vaccine implications," a spokesperson for the CDC said. "Testing before and after travel is a critical layer to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19 and emerging variants."
Scientists have expressed concern that current vaccines will prove ineffective against the new strains of the virus.