The rapid spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant has led many European governments to re-impose stricter entry rules in order to prevent a further increase in the number of COVID-19 infections. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has called on the authorities of countries to keep their borders open.
The World Health Organization has urged countries to find and pursue other preventive measures, rather than imposing a flight ban in an effort to stem the spread of the Omicron variant, TheSchengen.com reports.
However, some European countries have already begun to tighten their entry rules for those coming from high-risk areas.
According to a statement published by the World Health Organization, Dutch authorities revealed on Sunday that they had identified 12 cases of COVID-19 Omicron among South African travelers.
At the same time, French Health Minister Olivier Veran confirmed that the new alternative is likely to already be circulated in the country.
On November 26, French Prime Minister Jean Castix stressed that all arrivals from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini would not be allowed to enter France for at least 48 hours.
In addition, the authorities in Switzerland announced that from today, November 30, arrivals from Canada, Japan, Nigeria and Portugal will be obligated to follow stricter entry requirements imposed to stop the spread of the new variant.
The Danish Foreign Ministry also urged all people not to travel to Botswana, Eswatini, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe due to the current epidemiological situation.
Besides Denmark, Norwegian authorities have also called on citizens to avoid non-essential travel to the aforementioned territories after these countries are currently dealing with the COVID-19 variant Omicron.
In addition, other European countries such as Lithuania, Finland and the Czech Republic have imposed entry restrictions on arrivals from South African countries amid growing concerns about the new variant of COVID-19 that is beginning to affect many countries.
However, the World Health Organization did not welcome the decision of the government of countries to impose stricter entry rules, as the organization continues to urge all governments to find alternative ways to deal with the Corona virus.
On Sunday, the head of the World Health Organization in Africa urged countries to follow the flag rather than impose a no-fly zone in an effort to contain the new alternative to the Corona virus, Omicron.
“With the Omicron variant now detected in many regions of the world, the imposition of travel bans targeting Africa is attacking global solidarity,” WHO Regional Director-General Matshidiso Moeti noted in this regard.
In addition, the World Health Organization added through a statement that travel restrictions may play an essential role in slightly reducing the spread of the Corona virus, but they place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods.
>> EU countries tighten travel restrictions as Omicron variant detected in several member states