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WHO advice for international traffic in relation to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant (B.1.1.529)

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WHO advice for international traffic in relation to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant (B.1.1.529)

As of November 28, 2021, 56 countries were reported to be implementing travel measures aimed at potentially delaying the import of the new variant.

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 30, 2021 / APO Group / –

The WHO has issued advice to countries on travel, given the circulation of the Omicron variant.

WHO commends South Africa and Botswana for the speed and transparency with which they reported and shared information on Omicron, allowing other countries to quickly adjust their response.

While scientific research is underway to understand how the variant behaves, the WHO advises the following (see the document for the full list):

Countries should continue to apply an evidence- and risk-based approach when implementing travel measures in accordance with the IHR. National authorities can apply a multi-tiered risk mitigation approach to potentially delay the export or import of the new variant. General travel bans will not prevent international spread and place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods. Additionally, they can have an adverse impact on global health efforts during a pandemic by discouraging countries from reporting and sharing epidemiological and sequencing data. All travelers should remain vigilant for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, get vaccinated when it is their turn, and adhere to public health and social measures at all times.

As of November 28, 2021, 56 countries were reported to be implementing travel measures aimed at potentially delaying the import of the new variant.

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