Austria has banned entry from seven African countries identified as regions where the coronavirus mutation is prevalent. These are the Republic of South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini, АРА reports with reference to the corresponding decision of the Austrian Ministry of Health.
"South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini are recognized as regions with variants of the virus, and entry from these countries is prohibited," the report said.
The Austrian Foreign Ministry also issued a warning against travel to these South African countries. The ministry urged citizens traveling in southern Africa to return home as soon as possible, while it is still possible. Entry for Austrian citizens to the country remains possible, but subject to strict quarantine rules - ten days of self-isolation, a PCR test upon entry and pre-registration.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has urged countries around the world not to impose flight bans on southern African nations due to concerns over the new omicron variant. This statement was made by the WHO’s regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti.
He called on countries to follow science and international health regulations in order to avoid using travel restrictions.
“Travel restrictions may play a role in slightly reducing the spread of Covid-19 but place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods,” Moeti said in a statement.