Southern African nations are facing bans on the use of
Despite the limited information available (due to early detection), numerous countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States and European Union nations, quickly announced drastic travel restrictions for southern African countries, measures that generated strong unease on the African continent.
Israel has so far confirmed one case of infection with Omicron – an Israeli woman who returned from Malawi last week – and has twelve other suspects awaiting verification, also travelers from Africa.
Tightening controls EuropeEuropean countries such as Belgium began Sunday to apply travel restrictions to 9 African countries (Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa, Malawi and Zambia), to try to prevent the spread of the variant.
The U.S. government, which had decided to wait for more information before deciding whether to suspend air traffic with South Africa and other African countries, later announced that as of Monday it will impose restrictions on travelers from South Africa and seven other countries in the South: Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.
Covid variant travel restrictions in the United States
The cascade of country restrictions began Thursday night when the United Kingdom announced it would temporarily suspend flights from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.
Singapore has opted to ban entry to all non-residents from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, while returning nationals and permanent residents from any of these countries will be required to spend 10 days at home. Malaysia has also taken similar measures.
Meanwhile, Germany plans to declare South Africa a “virus variant area” as of Friday night, which will mean that airlines will only be able to enter from the country to repatriate German nationals.
The United States will restrict travel from South Africa and seven other countries as of Monday. Following advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Biden administration will restrict travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.
Traveling without vaccinations: These countries eliminated sanitary requirements
Guatemala, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile and Paraguay announced on Monday different restrictions on the access to their national territory of passengers coming from African countries due to the new variant of the Omicron coronavirus.
The measure, however, contemplates an exception for foreigners with permanent residence in Guatemala, members of the diplomatic corps accredited in the country and air crew, who will have to undergo a mandatory ten-day quarantine upon arrival.
Those persons undergoing quarantine will be controlled by the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit of the Ministry of Health of the Central American country after entering the country through land, maritime and air migratory points, in order to carry out “a strict follow-up of cases and contacts”.
The ministerial agreement came into force this Monday and is of “temporary and preventive scope”, since the norms will be updated according to the behavior and scientific evidence of the omicron variant.
Travelers must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before entering the country, have “a negative PCR test performed in the country of origin” 72 hours before, and must also show a negative antigen test upon entering Argentina.
The 4 requirements to enter the United States in
Regarding the epidemiological situation, the wave of cases caused by the Omicron variant has almost completely subsided. In fact, the “epidemiological traffic light” categorization by states is no longer used and there are no longer any restrictions. The use of masks is no longer mandatory.
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