US Officials Are Halting Travel From 8 Countries Out Of Concern About What They Don’t Yet Know

US Officials Are Halting Travel From 8 Countries Out Of Concern About What They Don’t Yet Know

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1 min agoIsrael bans all foreigners from entering the country in response to Omicron fearsFrom CNN’s Ivana Kottasová

Travelers walk with their luggage in the Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, on November 28. (Ariel Schalit/AP)Israel is banning all foreigners from entering the country in response to Omicron fears, authorities announced Saturday.

The ban, pending government approval, is expected to last two weeks. Israelis returning from a country on the red list, which includes countries in southern Africa, will be required to isolate for seven days in a designated hotel.

There are seven suspected cases of the variant in Israel, in addition to one confirmed case found in a person returning from Malawi, its Health Ministry said.

17 min agoBiden will receive in-person Covid-19 briefing todayFrom CNN’s Allie Malloy

President Biden, first lady Jill Biden and their children and grandchildren have boarded Air Force One in Nantucket, ending their Thanksgiving vacation. 

Biden returns to the Capitol where he will receive a briefing on Covid-19 and the Omicron variant this afternoon.

“This afternoon, the President will have an in-person briefing with members of his Covid-19 response team and chief medical advisor to the President Dr. Fauci to provide an update on the Omicron variant and the administration’s response,” a White House official said.

17 min agoThis Welsh rugby team was unable to depart South Africa following one suspected Omicron caseFrom CNN’s Sharon Braithwaite in London

Cardiff Rugby has been unable to depart South Africa following two positive cases of Covid-19, one of which is suspected to be the new Omicron variant, the team said Sunday in a statement.

The Welsh team had hoped to leave Cape Town on Sunday afternoon, but due to the two positive results of the PCR tests undertaken Saturday night, “the entire travelling party have returned to their hotel to isolate,” the statement read.

CNN has reached out to Cardiff Rugby for clarity on the suspected case.

2 min agoOmicron Covid-19 variant prompts these countries to impose travel restrictionsThe discovery of a new Covid-19 variant first detected in South Africa prompted multiple countries to impose travel restrictions on at least six African nations. 

The newly identified variant appears to be spreading rapidly in parts of South Africa, and scientists are concerned that its unusually high number of mutations could make it more transmissible and result in immune evasion.

The World Health Organization classified it as a “variant of concern” on Friday. 

These are the countries that have announced restrictions so far:

The cascade of closures began late Thursday as the United Kingdom announced it would be temporarily suspending flights from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.Israel on Saturday announced it is barring foreigners from entering the country for two weeks.Japan has tightened border controls for travelers from the same six countries, bringing in a 10-day quarantine that began at 12 a.m. on Nov. 27. Bahrain and Sri Lanka said they would suspend entry from those countries as well. Brazil said it will close its air borders with the six countries. Pakistan announced on Saturday that it would be closing its borders to South Africa, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho and Botswana.Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Finland and Malta have all announced restrictions on travelers from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini. Switzerland banned all direct flights from the same seven countries as well. France extended its suspension of flights from the seven countries until midnight local time on Tuesday. Denmark’s government is advising against all travel to those countries. Egypt, Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, Oman and Jordan have also announced restrictions on the seven countries. Saudi Arabia suspended flights from the seven countries on Friday, plus an additional seven — Malawi, Zambia, Madagascar, Angola, Seychelles, Mauritius and Comoros — on Saturday, the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.Morocco announced the suspension of all global incoming air flights to the kingdom starting November 29 for two weeks, according to the state-run news agency MAP.Meanwhile, Germany declared South Africa a “virus variant area” starting Friday night, which means that airlines may only enter from the country to repatriate German citizens.President Biden announced that the United States will restrict travel from South Africa and seven other countries starting Monday. Acting on advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Biden administration will restrict travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. Officials, who are still learning more about the variant, said the policy was implemented out of an abundance of caution.Canada is taking similar steps as the US, according to its health minister. South Korea tightened its border against travelers from the same eight countries. Greece will allow only essential travel from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Eswatini, Zambia and Malawi, the country’s health ministry said Friday. Australia is also banning the entry of foreign citizens who have traveled to the nine southern African countries in the previous 14 days. Kuwait on Saturday halted direct commercial f

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