The new variant has not been officially recorded in Ukraine as of Nov. 29, according to Health Minister Viktor Lyashko.
The World Health Organization warned that Omicron has many mutations that may make it more virulent than the previous strains and get around immunity. First reported in South Africa on Nov. 24, Omicron has been detected in a number of African countries, as well as Europe, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong.
To prevent the new strain from spreading in Ukraine, the health ministry introduced new entrance rules for Ukrainians who have been in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini or Mozambique for more than seven days in the last two weeks. These travelers will have to go through 14 days of self-isolation upon returning to Ukraine.
Travel restrictions have been put into effect on Nov. 29. The number of countries on the list may be expanded. The health ministry also urged citizens to refrain from traveling to countries where the new strain has been detected.
Health expert Pavlo Kovtonyuk told the Kyiv Independent that “the Delta strain now dominates in Ukraine” and, in his opinion, “it will dominate for a long time, even if the Omicron strain comes to Ukraine, it will take time to displace all other strains.”