Omicron variant: Thailand and Sri Lanka ban travellers from African countries

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Two Asian international locations have determined to ban entry for travellers from a number of African international locations over fears of the newly found omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.

Thailand’s authorities mentioned on Saturday that it will ban journey from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe ranging from December. All these international locations are designated to have a excessive threat of those that have contracted the brand new coronavirus variant.

Senior well being official Opas Karnkawinpong advised the media that Thailand won’t enable travellers from these international locations to register for journey to Thailand beginning on Saturday.

Mr Opas mentioned the authorities have notified airways and the involved international locations. He added that travellers from different African international locations won’t be allowed to make use of the nation’s quarantine-free journey scheme for vaccinated travellers.

Sri Lanka has additionally mentioned that was barring journey from six southern African international locations. In a press release, Colombo’s authorities mentioned travellers wouldn’t be allowed into the nation from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini.

Anybody who travelled to Sri Lanka from these international locations within the final two days must bear a compulsory 14-day quarantine.

On Friday, the World Well being Organisation had declared the brand new coronavirus variant, first reported in South Africa, to be a variant of concern.

It has since been recognized in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel. The UN well being company mentioned the omicron variant may unfold shortly to different international locations.

These measures come whilst different Asian international locations are contemplating tightening their borders.

Qatar Airways mentioned on Saturday that it had banned entry to travellers from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique due to the variant, reported Reuters.

Issues over the brand new variant have emerged in India as properly, the place authorities known as for a “rigorous screening of passengers from South Africa, Botswana, and Hong Kong.”

“This variant has severe public well being implications in view of just lately relaxed visa restrictions and opening of worldwide journey,” the nation’s federal well being ministry mentioned in a letter to the nation’s states and union territories on Thursday.

The nation has been planning to permit worldwide journey from the center of December. India’s prime minister Narendra Modi, nonetheless, has now known as for a overview of those plans.

In the meantime, the US, Australia and Brazil are amongst international locations which have restricted journey from South Africa.