COVID-19 around the world: Israel to ban foreigners as other countries tighten restrictions on Britons | World news
Global concern about the coronavirus pandemic is increasing, with a number of countries detecting confirmed cases of the Omicron variant for the first time.
Travel restrictions are also being imposed again as governments suspend flights from southern Africa, the region where the strain was first detected.
Here is an overview of the latest COVID-19[female[feminine developments around the world.
On Saturday, Israel unveiled its intention to ban all foreigners from entering the country.
If the proposals are approved, it will become the first nation to completely close its borders in response to the Omicron variant.
There are concerns that B.1.1.529 may be more contagious than other variants – and more resistant to vaccines.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the ban would last 14 days.
So far, Israel has one confirmed case of the Omicron variant and seven suspected cases.
Phone tracking technology will be used to locate carriers of the new variant, with the aim of preventing its transmission to others.
Starting Monday, the United States will restrict travel from South Africa and seven other countries in the region.
U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States – as well as spouses and close friends – will be exempt.
No Omicron-related cases have been detected in the country so far.
But Dr Anthony Fauci, America’s leading infectious disease specialist, told NBC he wouldn’t be surprised if the variant was already in the United States, adding: “When you have a virus that shows this degree of transmissibility … It’s almost invariably going to eventually go pretty much everywhere. “
In separate developments, New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued a COVID-19 “disaster emergency” declaration on Friday, with infections and hospitalizations increasing in the state.
On Saturday, health authorities confirmed that a case of the Omicron variant had been detected in Italy.
The business traveler had come from Mozambique, landed in Rome on November 11, and returned home to Naples.
Five of his family, including two children, have also tested positive. All are now isolated and have mild symptoms.
The Omicron variant was also detected in two travelers who arrived on a flight from South Africa on November 24.
Although genome sequencing is not yet complete, it is “proven beyond doubt that this is the variant.”
Both cases were detected in the southern state of Bavaria, and another suspected case was found in the west of the country.
Dutch health authorities have detected 61 cases of COVID-19 among people who flew from South Africa on Friday.
Although the Dutch Institute of Health is “almost certain” that some of these patients have the Omicron variant, more testing is needed to be absolutely sure.
The airline KLM expressed surprise at the high number of cases as all passengers had either tested negative or shown proof of vaccination before boarding flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg.
The country’s authorities are now trying to contact 5,000 passengers who have traveled since Monday from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia or Zimbabwe.
Quarantine requirements have been extended to more travelers in an attempt to stem the spread of the Omicron variant.
Those arriving from the UK, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Egypt and Malawi will now be subject to tighter restrictions.
The Federal Office of Public Health said passengers from those countries will also need to test negative for COVID-19 and quarantine for 10 days.
Direct flights have already been banned from South Africa and the surrounding region.
Although cases have been detected in Italy and Germany, two of Switzerland’s neighbors, no travel restrictions have been imposed in countries with which it shares borders.
From next month, British tourists will only be able to enter Spain if they can show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
Until now, unvaccinated travelers were allowed to enter the country if they could show a negative PCR test performed 72 hours before arrival.
“The appearance of new variants causing (coronavirus) forces restrictions to be increased, ”the government said.
Spain’s Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism said around 300,000 Britons residing in Spain would not be affected by the new measures.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid will appear on Trevor Phillips Sunday on Sky News at 8:30 a.m.