Israel has become the first country in the world to shut its borders for foreign travellers owing to the Omicron scare. Soon after, Japan followed suit and barred foreign travellers from entering into the country.
A number of countries have reported confirmed or suspected cases of the Omicron, the new variant of COVID-19. The new variant has already been discovered in Australia, Botswana, Britain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands and Scotland.
Israel has not only banned entry of foreigners but has also made quarantine for all Israelis arriving from abroad mandatory. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said, “Restrictions on the country’s borders is not an easy step, but it’s a temporary and necessary step.”
The government of Japan also said that they would shut its borders to foreigners amid rising cases of the Omicron variant of Coronavirus. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that he is ready to take criticism for being too cautious.
He told the reporters, “These are temporary, exceptional measures that we are taking for safety’s sake, until there is clearer information about the Omicron variant”.
A number of countries have already restricted or banned travel from various southern African countries. Recently, authorities in Sydney, Australia found two foriegn travellers Africa Omicron positive. Also, those coming from African countries will have to quarantine in a hotel upon arrival.
The World Health Organization advising its 194 member nations said, “The overall global risk related to the new variant of concern Omicron is assessed as very high.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States’ infectious diseases expert, said, “We have not detected it yet, but when you have a virus that is showing this degree of transmissibility … it almost invariably is ultimately going to go essentially all over.”
The UK has also made the mask-wearing compulsory for all. Spain, on the other hand, has also announced a ban on unvaccinated visitors from Britain from December 1.