New Fast Spreading Variant Has Countries Closing Borders And Enacting Travel Restrictions

New Fast Spreading Variant Has Countries Closing Borders And Enacting Travel Restrictions

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A brand new COVID-19 variant—which the WHO has referred to as Omicron—is inflicting panic among the many journey business, creating journey restrictions, and shutting borders. 

The United Kingdom says the COVID-19 variant is probably the most vital variant discovered and referred to as the journey restrictions “a huge international concern.”

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The CDC says they want more data on the brand new COVID-19 variant however have already banned entry into the U.S. from 8 nations. However, authorities discovered the primary European case of the brand new variant in Belgium at this time. 

The New Variant 

Although there may be nonetheless little knowledge on the brand new variant, scientists imagine the B.1.1.529 variant began in South Africa earlier than spreading round components of Africa, Hong Kong, and now Belgium. 

Scientists are worried as a result of the variant has over 30 mutations on its spike protein, which is the important thing used to unlock our physique’s cells. That’s greater than double the variety of the Delta variant. 

As a end result, scientists are involved the brand new variant—which differs utterly from the variant present in Wuhan nearly two years in the past—might evade the vaccines.

Women covering her face with pollution mask for protection

Scientists recommend, primarily based on earlier proof, the variant could possibly be extra more likely to infect and reinfect individuals with immunity to earlier variants. 

Prof James Naismith, Director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute at Oxford University, stated, “It’s bad news, but it’s not doomsday”.

The New Travel Restrictions 

As the information of the brand new variant spreads worldwide, journey restrictions are rising. It’s a devastating blow to the journey business, which had hoped for a pointy restoration this winter till spiraling circumstances in Europe and the emergence of the brand new variant. 

The following nations have already positioned a ban or restrictions on journey from a lot of southern Africa:


Italy announced measures to ban entry into Italy for vacationers coming from the next nations:

  • South Africa
  • Lesotho 
  • Botswana 
  • Zimbabwe 
  • Mozambique 
  • Namibia 
  • Eswatini


Germany Health Minister, Jens Spahn, said airways arriving from South Africa will solely be capable of transport German residents dwelling.

Once they arrive in Germany, they might want to quarantine for 14 days, no matter their vaccination standing 

The European Union 

The EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she’s proposing implementing restrictions “with the member states, to activate the emergency brake to stop air travel from the southern African region.” 

However, as of at this time, the EU has taken no motion on banning flights from southern Africa to the EU. 

The United Kingdom 

The U.Ok. has already began limiting flights from the next nations:

  • South Africa
  • Botswana
  • Namibia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Lesotho
  • Eswatini

Travelers from these nations might want to self-isolate beneath resort quarantine for 10 days within the U.Ok. after 4 am GMT on Sunday no matter their vaccination standing. The quarantine prices over 2,000 GBP.

Stonehenge, England

The United States 

The United States is about to heavily restrict travel from South Africa and 7 other Southern African countries. Beginning Monday, solely US residents and authorized residents will be capable of journey into the US from the nations.

NYC in winter


Japan has restricted journey from the next nations due to the emergence of the brand new variant:

  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Namibia
  • South Africa 
  • Zimbabwe

Travelers from these nations might want to spend 14 days in a government-designated facility adopted by an additional 4 days in quarantine at dwelling. 

Tokyo, Japan

The Travel Industry Response 

The new variant and the following journey restrictions have prompted a major drop in Boeing shares in a single day. 

Virgin Atlantic stated it might cancel all flights from Johannesburg from Friday to early Sunday due to the UK’s new guidelines.

Delta Airlines stated, “Delta will continue to work closely with our government partners to evaluate any changes to U.S. policy,”

Read extra:

UK Restarts Travel ‘Red List’ Adding Several African Countries Over New Variant Concerns

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Disclaimer: Current journey guidelines and restrictions can change with out discover. The resolution to journey is in the end your duty. Contact your consulate and/or native authorities to verify your nationality’s entry and/or any modifications to journey necessities earlier than touring.  Travel Off Path doesn’t endorse touring towards authorities advisories

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