| 21 May 2024, Tuesday |

Factbox: Global travel curbs triggered by Omicron

Air travelers to the United States will face tougher COVID-19 testing rules to try to slow the spread of the Omicron variant as other countries tighten border controls.

Following is a snapshot by region of major travel curbs reported by Reuters.


BRAZIL will shut its borders to travellers arriving from six southern African countries, the chief of staff to President Jair Bolsonaro said.

CANADA is closing its borders to foreign travelers who have recently been to seven southern African nations.

CUBA will tighten restrictions from Dec. 4 on passengers from some African countries.

ECUADOR will impose entry restrictions on travelers flying from or via a number of African countries and will request vaccine certificates from those arriving from other countries.

The UNITED STATES, which has barred nearly all foreign nationals who have been in one of eight southern African countries, issued a directive requiring airlines to disclose names and other information of passengers who have been there.


AUSTRALIA has delayed by two weeks its plans to reopen its borders to skilled migrants and foreign students. Mandatory two-week quarantine has been enforced for citizens returning from southern African countries.

CAMBODIA has banned entry to travellers from 10 African countries.

The Chinese-ruled territory of HONG KONG will ban non-residents from entering the city from Japan, Portugal and Sweden, adding to a fast-expanding list of countries facing travel restrictions.

INDIA will make on-arrival COVID-19 testing mandatory for air travelers from more than a dozen countries, including South Africa and Britain.

JAPAN Airlines and ANA halted new reservations and the government widened a travel ban. Japan took some of the strictest steps globally on Nov. 29 by closing its borders to new foreign entrants for about a month.

MALAYSIA has temporarily banned the entry of travelers from countries that have reported the Omicron variant or are considered high-risk.

THAILAND said it would ban the entry of people travelling from eight African countries.

UZBEKISTAN said it would suspend flights with Hong Kong, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, Tanzania and South Africa from Dec. 3.

VIETNAM will suspend flights to and from seven African countries.


The EUROPEAN UNION needs daily reviews of its travel restrictions and rapid deployment of vaccine booster doses to limit entry and protect its citizens from the Omicron variant, the European Commission said.

Most EU countries have imposed travel bans for residents of South Africa AND surrounding countries.

Travelers to RUSSIA from countries with high risk of the Omicron variant will have to quarantine for two weeks.

The UNITED KINGDOM has barred entry to non-residents from 10 southern African states, and British and Irish residents arriving from those countries must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days.


ISRAEL on Nov. 27 became the first country to shut its borders completely in response to Omicron, and said it would use counter-terrorism phone-tracking technology in order to contain the variant’s spread. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the ban would last 14 days.

  • Reuters