Countries that have imposed travel restrictions for the new variant

(CNN) — The discovery of omicron, the new variant of the coronavirus first detected in South Africa, has prompted several countries to impose travel restrictions on at least six African countries.

Currently known as B.1.1.529, the newly identified variant appears to be spreading rapidly in parts of South Africa and scientists fear its unusually high number of mutations may make it more transmissible and lead to immune evasion .

Here are the countries that have announced restrictions so far for the new variant:

  • Brazil
  • United States
  • Italy
  • Austria
  • France
  • Germany
  • Australia
  • UK
  • Czech republic
  • The Netherlands
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Thailand
  • malt
  • Morocco
  • Oman
  • dubai
  • Pakistan
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait

While only dozens of cases of the new strain have been identified so far, they have been detected in Germany, UK, Italy, South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel, Belgium and the Czech Republic.

Fears of Omicron variant prompt Israel to close borders 1:59

The cascade of country restrictions began on Thursday evening when the UK announced it would temporarily suspend flights from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.

Japan has tightened border controls for travelers from the same six countries, imposing a 10-day quarantine from 12 p.m. on November 27.

EU countries, Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Malta have announced impending entry bans for all travelers who have entered South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini over the past two weeks.

Singapore has opted to bar entry to all non-residents of Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, while nationals and permanent residents returning from one of these countries will have to spend 10 days there. Malaysia has also taken similar steps.

They are starting to take action for the new variant of covid-19 in South Africa 2:37

Meanwhile, Germany plans to declare South Africa a “viral variant zone” from Friday evening, meaning airlines will only be able to enter from the country to repatriate German citizens.

The Philippines has suspended inbound flights with immediate effect from South Africa and six other countries due to concerns over the new variant, according to the presidential office. Travelers including citizens of the Philippines, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique have been banned until December 15.

The United States will limit travel from South Africa and seven other countries from Monday. Following the advice of Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Biden administration will limit travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.

Global concern over the omicron variant of the coronavirus 1:51

Ciro Nogueira, Chief Minister of the Civil House of the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil said via Twitter that Brazil will close its air borders to six African countries, South Africa, Botswana, Swatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe, due to the new variant of the coronavirus. “The order will be published tomorrow and should come into force from Monday,” he said.

Omani state media reported that the country will suspend inbound flights from seven southern African countries from Sunday morning. “The Covid-19 Supreme Committee has decided to suspend inbound flights from the following countries: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique,” the Omani News Agency tweeted.

From December 1, travelers from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe “will not be able to enter Thailand” and will not be able to apply for the entrance, said the director of the disease control department, Opas Karnkawinpong. . .

Australia said on Saturday it would ban the entry of foreign nationals who have been to nine southern African countries in the past 14 days. The nine countries include South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi and Mozambique, Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt told a press conference on Saturday.

For its part, the airline Qatar Airways indicated in a statement on Saturday that it would no longer accept passengers from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, with immediate effect, to prevent the spread of the omicron variant. of covid-19.

Although Colombia has no direct flights to or from Africa – all go through Brazil or the United States – Colombian President Iván Duque has extended the national health emergency until February 28, announcing that people who have been in Africa in the last 15 days and show symptoms should inform the Colombian authorities and be isolated.

Ban flights from South Africa to Europe 2:23

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