WHO Criticizes Travel Bans On Southern African Countries

People wear face masks as they walk, in Regent Street, in London, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was necessary to take "targeted and precautionary measures" after two people tested positive for the new variant in England. He also said mask-wearing in shops and on public transport will be required. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

(AP) — The World Health Organization has urged countries not to impose flight bans on southern African nations due to concerns over the new omicron variant.

WHO’s regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, called on countries to follow science and international health regulations in order to avoid using travel restrictions.

WHO praised South Africa for following international health regulations and informing WHO as soon as its national laboratory identified the omicron variant.

Cases of the omicron variant popped up in countries on opposite sides of the world Sunday and many governments rushed to close their borders. The U.S. plans to ban travel from South Africa and seven other southern African countries starting Monday.


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