United States’ President Joe Biden has ended the entry ban on citizens from over a dozen countries including Eritrea, Yemen, Nigeria, and Sudan.
Also, among the 17 executive orders and presidential actions Biden signed on Wednesday were moves to rejoin the Paris climate accord, and halt Trump’s withdrawal from the World Health Organisation.
“There’s no time to waste,” Biden said before signing executive orders in the White House. These are just all starting points,” he added.
The American Civil Liberties Union, a non-profit civil rights organisation, applauded the removal of the travel ban, calling it a “cruel Muslim ban that targeted Africans.”
Critics had called the policy – one of the first moves by Donald Trump when he became president in 2017 – a “Muslim ban”.
However, the ban was changed in part due to legal challenges, and included some non-majority-Muslim nations.
Biden has described the policy as discriminatory and an affront to the country’s values.
Biden made rejoining the climate agreement a key point of his presidential campaign, vowing to undo former President Donald Trump’s policy.
The president also signed an executive order mandating that people wear masks in all federal buildings and on federal lands in an effort to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
“Wearing masks isn’t a partisan issue, it’s a patriotic act that can save countless lives.
“It’s time to mask up, America,” Biden wrote on the official presidential Twitter account.