Maldives bans travellers from seven African nations as Australia confirms cases of Omicron coronavirus variant

28 November 2021 - 09:59 By Reuters
Travellers from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini will not be allowed into Maldives. Stock image.
Travellers from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini will not be allowed into Maldives. Stock image.
Image: 123RF/ phonlamaiphoto

Maldives said it was barring travellers from seven African countries from Sunday over concerns about the new Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Travellers will not be allowed into Maldives from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini, the health ministry said in a statement.

Travellers who arrived from these countries over the past two days will have to undergo 14 days of quarantine.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday declared the new coronavirus variant to be "of concern" and many countries have slapped travel restrictions on various African nations.

The new variant was first reported to WHO from South Africa last week and has so far been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel. 

Meanwhile, health officials in Australia's most populous state confirmed on Sunday that two arrivals from southern Africa over the weekend had tested positive for the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The New South Wales health department said both passengers had come to Sydney on Saturday evening and had tested positive for Covid-19 late that night.


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