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The Travel Restrictions on South Africa Right Now

Two weeks after the discovery of a new covid variant, Omicron, not much has changed as countries around the world continue to impose strict restrictions on South Africa and neighbouring countries. While it has subsequently emerged that Omicron has been in circulation for at least a month and may not have even originated in Africa, South Africa has borne the brunt of these travel restrictions as it was the first country to flag the variant through its world-class genomics facilities. As of 8 December, 42 countries in all 6 WHO regions had reported the variant with many countries reporting sustained community spread. A mapping tool developed by travel website Skyscanner shows that as of 10 December, South Africa has 96 ‘major restrictions’ from other countries in place