This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.
More cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant have been reported this week, as the variant, first discovered in South Africa, continues to spread around the world.
So far, according to officials around the world, the variant has been found in at least 20 countries, a list that began with South Africa last week and has grown to include the Netherlands, Australia, Germany, Italy, Israel, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Spain. , Canada and more.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the first Omicron infection in the United States had been recorded in San Francisco. Health officials have always expected the variant to be in the US
It is still in the same stages of discovery with the variant, and officials are asking for calm in the face of its spread, which has so far been reported to be less deadly than previous variants of COVID-19, including Delta. However, some countries have benefits
South Africa says most patients with Omicron have milder cases
Doctors in South Africa, who discovered the variant last week, continue to report that most people who have become infected with the variant are younger and are experiencing milder cases.
Most cases are not causing hospitalization and those who are admitted are not largely vaccinated.
The WHO recommends against travel for some people
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that people over the age of 60, along with people without vaccinations or without recovery antibodies and people with comorbidities, postpone travel to COVID hot spots. 19 following the omicron. News.
There is also a “very high risk” that the virus will spread worldwide despite its low numbers at the moment, according to the organization.
However, the WHO also said this week that preliminary data show that most cases of the strain are mild and that no serious cases have yet been reported.
Canada expands testing requirements, travel ban
Canada is imposing new testing requirements on all air travelers coming from outside Canada, except those from beyond its southern border in the United States.
All non-Americans and non-Canadians landing at a Canadian airport will be required to take a test after landing the pre-departure test. Previously, international travelers were randomly tested coming to Canada.
Those who are positive should be isolated until they get a negative test and those who are not vaccinated will be forced to isolate for two weeks.
“Our government continues to take swift and unprecedented action to protect the health and safety of Canadians as we introduce new sound and science-based measures to prevent the concerns of COVID-19 from spreading to Canada. Requirements announced today are another layer of protection to safeguard the health of Canadians, “Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said in a statement.
At the same time, Canada is adding more African countries to its list of travel groups: Nigeria, Malawi and Egypt. These three join South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe and more that were announced last week.
Anyone who has traveled to these countries for the past 14 days will be barred from entering Canada.
The U.S. CDC is reducing trial time
U.S. authorities are reportedly acting to reduce probation time for incoming international travelers.
While previously vaccinated travelers could be tested within 72 hours, air travelers could now be required to show a negative COVID-19 test performed one day after arrival. The same 24-hour trial period will be maintained for unvaccinated travelers.
“The CDC is working to amend the current Global Test Order for Travel as we learn more about the Omicron variant; a revised order would shorten the mandatory test period for all international air travelers to one day before from the exit to the United States, “the CDC said. he said in a statement to the AP.
The new requirement would apply to both U.S. and noncitizens. A final update on the rule could happen as early as Thursday when President Joe Biden talks about the U.S. response to the variant.
According to Reuters, the CDC is also considering demanding another test three to five days after arriving in the United States.
A Washington Post report also referred to other measures, such as a mandatory seven-day self-quarantine and a second mandatory test three or five days after the trip, which were on the table. The public should find out the scope of the current U.S. response and new protocols on Thursday when President Joe Biden addresses the nation. Other reports say the measures could be revealed as early as Wednesday afternoon.
South Africa requires quarantine for international travelers
South Africa, which first reported the variant last week, is adding a new effective hotel quarantine requirement immediately for all international travelers.
International travelers flying to South Africa will have to be quarantined in a hotel for 14 days and will be tested on the 5th and 13th day of their quarantine.
The new requirement will include all travelers regardless of their vaccination status.