By Yash Yadav
It has been two years since the pandemic and the new Omicron variant has started fresh concerns. Nations around the world are keen to implement new travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the new variant.
The highest number of Omicron cases are recorded in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, South Africa, and the United States. The UK has recorded about 37,101 cases of Omicron which is nearly half of Omicron cases detected globally.
Canada, Russia, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, China, Namibia, Botswana, and India have also reported cases of Omicron.
Here are the new restrictions you need to be aware of if you are travelling abroad:
United Kingdom: The UK has recorded the majority of the cases and around 12 deaths have been reported due to Omicron, said Dominic Raab, Deputy Prime Minister on December 20. But the ‘Christmas Lockdown’ is yet to be ruled out.“In assessing the situation we rely very heavily on the real data coming through and it will take a little bit more time to assess this critical issue of the severity of Omicron,” Raab added.
The UK’s health minister, Sajid Javid, said that his government is ‘watching the data closely. He also denied ruling out any possibility of any restriction on public gatherings during the upcoming vacation season.
Denmark on December 17 announced to shut down theatres, cinemas and museums as Omicron cases rise to 15,000.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said the last week that the country is making the restrictions more secure in order to prevent the spread of Omicron Variant. Prime Minister Stoere said that “there is no doubt – the new variant changes the rules”. The country is already in a state of partial lockdown as gyms and swimming schools are closed down.
As soon as the first case was detected in the country. South Africa has been at the receiving end of travel bans imposed by a number of countries. South Africa last week chose to hold its lockdown at ‘adjusted level 1’, the most minimal of a five-level arrangement of controls.
Around 45 US states have been affected by the variant due to which mask mandates and some restrictions are implemented in different states.
The Netherlands is maybe the only country that has effectively declared a ‘snap Christmas lockdown’ pointed toward restricting the spread of the Omicron variation. All cafés, exercise centres, galleries and other public spots in the nation are to stay shut until at least January 14 with the sole exemption of essential stores, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced on December 19.
The Swedish government has imposed a ban on non-essential travel to the country from nations outside the European Union (EU).
In a bid to check the spread of Omicron, Germany has restricted all travellers from the UK. But only German residents and occupants, their children and partners, alongside transit travellers will be permitted to venture out to Germany from the UK.
The Swiss government has introduced a rule of allowing only those people with vaccine passports or proof of recovery to enter restaurants or indoor occasions.
To visit Sri Lanka, you should carry a negative RT-PCR report issued no less than 72 hours prior to arrival.
Singapore, with 24 confirmed cases of Omicron, has chosen to give a 7-day Health Risk Warning (HRW) to people who “are identified to have visited places the cases had been at, and who could potentially have interacted with ” those viewed as contaminated with the Omicron variation.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is likewise seeing a resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic. No restrictions have been placed to prevent tourists from entering Dubai which is quite popular among travel destinations.
With the detection of the ‘first’ case, a mandatory quarantine period for foreign tourists has been reinstated.