How has Omicron variant outbreak affected Travel around the world?
Travel restrictions have been put in place since the new variant of SARS-CoV-2, B.1.1.529 has been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on November 11, 2021 in Botswana and on November 14, 2021 in South Africa, the World Health Organization named the B.1.1.529 Omicron and classified it as a Variant of Concern (VOC) on 26th November 2021. (Source)
The reports of a newly detected coronavirus variant in South Africa have made many countries to close their borders. Different countries have taken a different approach towards preventing the spread of this new variant. The Governments have introduced travel restrictions on short notices to prevent the spread of this new outbreak. So, please keep a check on Government websites for the latest information.
We have assorted a list of countries and their travel restrictions. Click on the drop-down below to browse as per regions/countries
Countries restricted: Angola’s border will be closed to South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe until January 5, 2022 (subject to change).
Countries restricted: Egypt says it has stopped direct flights from a number of southern African countries, including South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini.
Travel restricted: The Kingdom of Morocco has suspended all incoming international flights for a two-week period beginning midnight 29th November 2021.
Countries restricted: Rwanda has announced a temporary suspension of direct flights to and from South Africa.
Entry Requirements: Anyone arriving from affected countries is required to quarantine for seven days.
Countries restricted: Any non-Canadian who has been in South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and/or Eswatini from November 12 onward will be barred from entering the country.
Entry Requirements and Covid-19 Testing: Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have been to one of those countries will still be allowed to come home, but with strict rules. They must present a negative PCR test to board their flight to Canada and must take another Covid test upon arrival followed by isolation at a hotel until they get a confirmed negative test result, and also quarantine at their residence for another 14 days.
Countries restricted: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and Malawi.
Entry Requirements: Passengers entering Argentina who has been anywhere on the African continent within the last 14 days before their arrival to the country must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Tourists are required to have health insurance that will cover Covid-19 medical expenses.
Covid-19 Testing and Vaccination Requirements: Passengers must also show proof of being fully vaccinated and a negative PCR test done within 72 hours before departure. Passengers must take an Antigen test upon arrival in Argentina.
Countries restricted: Brazil border will be closed to South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Countries restricted: Chile has banned the entry of anyone who has spent time in the past 14 days in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Entry Requirements: Chile residents who have been in any of the affected territories must submit to testing on arrival and quarantine for seven days.
Countries restricted: The Australian officials have suspended all flights to Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa and Zimbabwe and have banned passengers who have a travel history to these locations from entering their borders. However, the state of Tasmania has banned people who have been in any overseas location except New Zealand’s South Island.
Entry Requirements: Australian citizens and fully vaccinated visa holders may enter, but foreigners must quarantine in a hotel for up to 14 days.
Countries restricted: The southern African countries were already on their “red list”.
Entry Requirements: Only Fijian citizens can enter the country even if they have been to one of the red-listed nations.
Covid-19 Testing Requirements: Fijian citizens will now have to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, with PCR tests carried out on Days 5 and 12.
Countries restricted: Only New Zealand citizens are allowed to travel from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Seychelles, Malawi and Mozambique as of 11:59 p.m. local time on 28th November 2021.
Entry Requirements: Travelers from these countries are required to stay in managed isolation quarantine for 14 days and undergo testing.
Countries restricted: Anyone who has visited Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Angola and/or Zambia in the past 21 days will be denied entry into the country.
Countries restricted: As of 26th November 2021, “at-risk” countries include South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Bangladesh, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.
Entry Requirements: Beginning December 1, all international passengers must submit a self-declaration form to an online government portal that includes a 14-day travel history.
Covid-19 Testing Requirements: Passengers must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before their departure. Travellers from “at-risk countries” will now face further testing, including a PCR test on arrival. They must also be quarantined at home for seven days.
Entry Requirements: Israeli citizens can come back to the country but will have to quarantine, even if fully vaccinated.
Countries restricted: Tourists who have travelled to or transited for more than 12 hours through South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Eswatini within the past 14 days will be denied entry into the country.
Entry Requirements: Nationals of the Maldives and long-term visa holders arriving from these countries will still be allowed to enter, but will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine with virus testing.
Countries restricted: As of 3rd December 2021, Nepal will not issue tourist visas to passengers from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Malawi and Hong Kong.
* There are no outright bans for outgoing passengers.
Countries restricted: Pakistan announced on Saturday that it would be closing its borders to arrivals from South Africa, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho and Botswana.
Entry Requirements: Pakistani citizens returning from affected countries will be permitted entry if they’re vaccinated and produce negative results taken from before and after travel.
Countries restricted: Sri Lanka has banned the arrival of any foreigners who have been in South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Eswatini in the past 14 days.
Entry Requirements: Sri Lankan citizens arriving from the listed countries must spend 14 days in quarantine at home.
Countries restricted: Indonesia says it is banning the arrival of any foreigners who have spent time in the last 14 days in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini and Nigeria.
Entry Requirements: Any Indonesian nationals who have travelled to those countries will be required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival.
Countries restricted: Thai authorities have confirmed that they will ban travel from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe starting from December.
Countries restricted: Vietnam has suspended international arrivals from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Lesotho and Mozambique, as well as the issuing of visas for passengers coming from these countries.
A top respiratory disease expert and Government adviser named Zhong Nanshan said that China has no plans to take any “major action” in response to the Omicron variant. However, Hong Kong has informed travel restrictions and guidelines for select countries.
Countries restricted: Hong Kong has banned the entry of any foreigners who have visited South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe in the past 21 days.
Entry Requirements: Any Hong Kong residents arriving from the Southern African countries will have to spend seven days in a government quarantine facility where they will undergo daily Covid testing and be monitored by health professionals. After seven days, they are required to continue quarantine for 14 days at a designated hotel.
Travel restricted: Japan’s borders are closed to any non-citizens, including international students, short-term residents, or people visiting family.
Countries restricted: The Philippines has suspended inbound flights from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique.
Countries restricted: Arrivals from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe are greatly restricted as of 28th November 2021. Anyone who is not a Singaporean or residency holder who has visited at least one of those countries will not be permitted to enter Singapore or transit through the airport there.
Entry Requirements: Singaporean citizens and residents who have visited one of the countries can still return home but are subject to a 10-day quarantine.
Countries restricted: Denmark has issued a ban against travel to Angola, Malawi, South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.
Entry Requirements: All travellers who have stayed in any of the nine countries within 10 days before entering Denmark must be tested and go into isolation for 10 days after entry.
Covid-19 Testing Requirements: Foreigners without a permanent residence in Denmark must present a negative PCR-test taken a maximum of 72 hours before the time of entry and the Isolation can be ended on the 6th day after two negative PCR tests (on Day 4 and 6).
Countries restricted: France has suspended all flights from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini.
Countries restricted: Germany has suspended all flights from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Countries restricted: Greece will allow only essential travel from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Eswatini, Zambia and Malawi.
Entry Requirements: Travelers will have to have a special permit from the local Greek embassies and diplomatic missions to travel, the ministry said, adding that on arrival they will be tested and quarantined in a hotel for 10 days and then they will be tested again.
Countries restricted: Ireland says it is imposing mandatory quarantine for anyone arriving from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Irish residents arriving from affected countries are allowed to isolate themselves at home.
Countries restricted: Italy has restricted the arrival of anyone who has been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini during the last 14 days.
Entry Requirements: Malta has banned travel to and from South Africa, Nambia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe.
Countries restricted: The Netherlands has imposed a flight ban on the southern African region following reports of the new variant.
Entry Requirements: Anyone entering the Netherlands who has been to one of those countries is required to quarantine at a government-selected hotel.
Countries restricted: Beginning 28th November 2021, non-Russians who have travelled to Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe are not allowed to enter the country.
Entry Requirements: Russian nationals who have been to one of those countries or in Hong Kong, mainland China, Israel or the United Kingdom are permitted to enter but they must take a PCR test upon arrival and self-isolate until they have a confirmed negative result.
Countries restricted: Passengers arriving in Spain from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe will have to quarantine for 10 days with the possibility to leave isolation after a virus test on Day seven.
Countries restricted: Turkey has suspended flights from Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Countries restricted: Six countries have been added to the UK’s “red” list namely, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Citizens of other countries who have visited a red-list destination will also not be able to enter.
Entry Requirements: the UK or Irish citizens or permanent residents returning from a red-listed country must quarantine in a hotel for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status. As of 6th December 2021, only UK, Irish citizens and residents will be allowed to travel from Nigeria and should isolate in a managed quarantine facility.
Covid-19 Testing Requirements: A Day later, arrivals from countries not on the red list will be required to take a pre-departure test, regardless of their vaccination status. Anyone entering the UK should quarantine until they receive the results of a PCR test taken on their second day in the country. Anyone who is tested positive will have to undergo a 10-day quarantine.
Gulf and the Middle East
Countries restricted: Kuwait has suspended direct flights from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zambia and Malawi, and advised against all travel, particularly to South Africa.
Entry Requirements: Kuwaiti nationals arriving from affected countries must spend seven days in quarantine, while non-Kuwaitis would not be permitted to enter within 14 days of visiting the listed countries.
Countries restricted: Oman has suspended incoming flights from the following countries: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Mozambique.
Entry Requirements: Anyone who has visited the seven countries within the past 14 days will also be banned from entry.
Countries restricted: Saudi Arabia has suspended air connections with South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Eswatini. Anyone who has spent any of the past 14 days in affected countries will be barred from entry.
Entry Requirements: Saudi citizens who have visited the region must quarantine for five days on arrival.
Countries restricted: Dubai is restricting travellers originating from or transiting South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
*Outbound passenger flights from Dubai to the countries listed are permitted.