Ukraine will suspend entry for foreigners traveling from several African countries where the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has been detected, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said during a televised government meeting on Dec. 2.
The temporary entry ban will come into force at midnight on Dec. 3.
The rules apply to eight African countries, which include South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Kingdom of Eswatini, the People's Republic of Mozambique and the Republic of Malawi.
Entry is prohibited for those who stayed in these restricted countries for at least a week within 14 days prior to the arrival.
The Health Ministry is enforcing mandatory 14-day self-isolation for Ukrainians returning from these countries, as well as for foreigners with a permanent or temporary residence permit. This quarantine can’t be skipped even with a Covid-19 vaccine certification.
According to Health Minister Viktor Lyashko, Ukraine passed the peak of the latest and deadliest Covid-19 wave in late November. The infections in the current wave are dominated by the Delta variant. Omicron cases have not been registered yet in the country.
Days after Omicron was discovered in South Africa, governments worldwide moved to close their borders to stem its spread. The mutated virus has disrupted air travel, leaving thousands of travelers stranded.
Much remains unknown about the new variant, including whether it is more contagious or makes people more seriously ill. It’s also unclear whether it can thwart vaccines.
Omicron has been recorded in at least 24 countries, including the United States, Germany and Japan.
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