The Omicron variant of COVID-19, which was first identified in South Africa is now one of the fast-spreading coronavirus strains globally. The variant was designated as a ‘Variant of Concern’ (VOC) by the global health body The World Health Organisation (WHO) after experts revealed the 30 worrisome mutations Omicron carries which makes it more transmissible and infect even the fully vaccinated individuals. The latest reports have also revealed that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is now present in over 100 countries. Some of the worst-hit nations include the UK and US, which have been seeing a massive surge in cases associated with the new variant and previously detected delta variant. To contain the further spread of this highly virulent variant and the infection, several countries have announced strict travel guidelines for international travellers. Here is a list of the top countries affected by Omicron and their revised travel guidelines.
United Kingdom (UK)
The United Kingdom has declared separate travel guidelines for the fully vaccinated and those who have only received one dose of the vaccine shot international travellers.
- Before travelling to England, the passenger must take a Covid-19 test. The test has to be taken 48 hours before travelling to the country.
- The passenger also must book an RT-PCR test, be taken upon arrival in England.
- The passenger will also have to complete a passenger locator 48 hours before arrival in England.
- If a traveller is in England for less than two days, they still need to book and pay for a day 2 Covid-19 test.
- The passengers will also have to quarantine until a negative RT-PCR test result or until they leave England, whichever is sooner.
Passengers who have only received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine needs to follow these rules:
- Prior to the travel date, the passenger must take a Covid-19 test. The test has to be taken in the two days before travelling to England.
- The passenger also must book RT-PCR for Day 2 and Day 8 after arrival in England.
- The passenger will also have to complete a passenger locator form 48 hours before arrival in England.
- After arriving England, the passenger will have to quarantine for 10 days.
- If RT-PCR test result is positive on Day 8, the passenger must self-isolate for 10 full days.
United States (US)
The United States has imposed a ban on the entry of visitors from Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Mozambique. These are the top countries with maximum cases associated with the new COVID variant.
- Only those who are fully vaccinated are allowed to travel to and enter the United States (US).
- All inbound international travelers must test within one day of departure.
- International visitors to the United States must provide proof of full vaccination prior to boarding their flight to the United States.
- International travelers aged two and older are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test result taken no more than one day before travel.
- All international travellers have to compulsory wear a mask over their nose and mouth while in airplanes, airports, and other indoor areas of public transportation while traveling to, within, or out of the United States.
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