Ukraine will close the border for citizens of a number of African countries, where a new Omicron strain of coronavirus has been registered begining on December 3. The relevant decision was made on a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, December 2.
"In order to prevent the spread of a new strain of coronavirus in Ukraine, today we will adopt a resolution banning foreign citizens from entering the Ukrainian border from countries where the spread of the new strain has been recorded. These are South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia and a number of other African countries," Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said.
Ukrainians returning from these countries must undergo 14 days of self-isolation.
Citizens of the following countries are prohibited from entering Ukraine:
- Republic of South Africa;
- Kingdom of Esvatini;
As it was reported, British scientists have recently discovered a new B.1.1.529 Covid variant that has 32 mutations in the spike protein. This part of the virus is used by most vaccines to prime the immune system against Covid. The WHO Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) has named the coronavirus strain B.1.1.529 "Omicron". Omicron could replace the Delta strain and become the most dominant one across the world.
The new strain has already been identified in a number of countries. In particular, in South Africa, Belgium, Israel, Germany, Italy, Austria, Great Britain, and Japan.
To date, the Omicron strain has not been found on the territory of Ukraine.