US President Joe Biden has reintroduced coronavirus travel restrictions against travelers from Brazil, Ireland, the United Kingdom and 26 European countries in the Schengen area.
South Africa was added to the list on Monday because there were concerns about a variant of the coronavirus that had spread from there, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
"This is not the time to lift restrictions on international travel," she said.
The countries affected by the ban include Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Slovakia , Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
Virtually all foreign nationals who have been to one of the above countries in the 14 days prior to their planned trip to the USA are not allowed to enter.
The new regulations that Biden put in place go into effect on Tuesday.
Biden reversed an order from former President Donald Trump shortly before he left office, according to which travel restrictions should have been relaxed from Tuesday.
This means that trips to the USA from Germany are only possible under strict conditions.
According to the previous regulations, exceptions only applied to US citizens, persons with permanent legal residence in the US (“green card” holders), visits to relatives, diplomats and persons with US visas if certain conditions are met.