US President Joe Biden, in a White House speech to the public on the Omicron variant, said that while the variant is a cause for concern, it is not a cause for panic. Biden urged that the best protection against the vaccine is to get fully vaccinated, and, if already fully vaccinated prior to June 2021, to get the booster shot as well. Biden also asked that the American people wear masks again in indoor settings.
President Biden added that the White House is working with vaccine makers to develop a new variant-specific booster shot if it is needed. Biden said that he would announce a new plan to fight Covid-19 this coming winter that would not include lockdowns.
Asked about the travel restrictions on South Africa, Biden said the restrictions were necessary to buy Americans more time to get prepared/vaccinated, given that the Omicron variant is expected to spread around the world anyway.
FX markets have not seen any reaction to Biden's comments, which did not contain much by way of any surprises.