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Omicron Brings New Travel Restrictions

The omicron coronavirus variant carries a high risk of infection surges, the World Health Organization said Monday, according to Reuters (subscription). More nations closed their borders, sparking renewed fears about global economic recovery from the pandemic.

Closed for business: Several countries have announced border closures. Travel restrictions by nation are as follows:

  • Japan: Since midnight Monday, Japan’s borders have been closed to foreign travelers.
  • Israel: On Saturday, Israel became the first nation to close its borders completely in response to omicron. The closure will last two weeks.
  • U.S.: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State Department have advised against travel to southern Africa. Beginning yesterday, the U.S. banned entry for 14 days to foreign nationals who had traveled to any of eight countries.
  • Britain: Britain has blocked entry to nonresidents from 10 southern African countries, “and British and Irish residents arriving from those countries must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days.”
  • India: Effective tomorrow, on-arrival COVID-19 testing will be mandatory in India for travelers from more than 12 countries.
  • Brazil: Brazil will bar entry to travelers from six southern African nations.
  • Canada: Canada is closing its borders to all travelers who have recently been to southern Africa.
  • Australia: Australia “will delay the reopening of its international border by two weeks.”
  • Singapore: Singapore has delayed the start of vaccinated travel lanes for some Middle Eastern countries.
  • Cambodia: Cambodia is banning entry to travelers from 10 African nations and anyone with a recent history of travel to those nations, including South Africa and Zambia.
  • Paraguay: Paraguay is banning entry to travelers from 10 African nations.
  • Poland: Poland is banning flights to seven African countries and will extend the quarantine period for some travelers.

What we know: The bottom line is there’s a lot still to be determined, reports CBS News, as vaccine manufacturers, health agencies and governments investigate the data.

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