Wary world shuts doors over variant

The new omicron variant sparks nations around the world to enact travel bans and other restrictions, even as the World Health Organization argued more research needs to be done.


World News

November 29, 2021 - 9:25 AM

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Photo by (Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images/TNS)

BRUSSELS (AP) — Nations around the world sought Monday to keep the new omicron variant at bay with travel bans and further restrictions, even as it remains unclear what it means for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Japan announced it would suspend entry of all foreign visitors, while new cases of the variant identified days ago by researchers in South Africa appeared as far apart as Hong Kong, Australia and Portugal. Portuguese authorities were investigating whether some of the infections there could be among the first reported cases of local transmission of the variant outside of southern Africa.

The stream of new cases showed the near impossibility of keeping the genie in the bottle in a globalized world of travel and open borders.

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