Beginning on Monday November 29, 2021 the United States will restrict flights from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland (Eswatini), Mozambique and Malawi over deepening concerns over the dangerous new Omicron COVID-19 strain.
Only U.S. citizens and legal residents will be allowed to travel from the South African region.
This move comes after the European implemented a similar flight ban on Friday.
A host of other countries have also announced quarantines and travel restrictions including: Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Iran, Japan, and Thailand
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new B.1.1.529. COVID variant to be “of concern” due to preliminary evidence that suggests the new variant carries a higher risk of reinfection than other COVID variants.
Experts worry that COVID vaccines, which were designed using the original virus strain may be less effective.
The new Omicron variant was first reported to the World Health Organization from South Africa on 24 November.
Suspected Omicron infections have been reported in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong, Israel Germany and the Czech Republic on Saturday, just two days after the first case was reported to the World Health Organization
Editors Note: Story “OMICRON-TRAVEL-BAN” updated on 27.11.2021 to include new information.
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