Wednesday, Jan 26, 2022

Omicron Covid-19 Variant: The Countries Which Have Closed Their Borders

With Omicron Covid-19 variant emergence, many countries have put restrictions on travel to the ‘high risk’ southern Africa countries, and are now closing their borders.

Omicron Covid-19 Variant: The Countries Which Have Closed Their Borders
A man walks through a deserted part of Johannesburg airport in South Africa. -

The Covid-19 scare seems to be far from ending. With the discovery of new Covid-19 variant Omicron, first in South Africa, the world is caught in a new quagmire. B.1.1.529 variant or Omicron Covid-19 variant has since then been detected in several countries globally.

The countries including England, Germany, Portugal, Israel and Canada have reported the Omicron Covid-19 variant cases.

Some of the countries in the world have already snapped travel movement with South African countries, fearing transmission of the new Covid-19 variant. South Africa has termed the travel ban as more “political” than based on “science”.

Besides, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of further global spread of Omicron Covid-19 variant, however it has advocated for keeping borders open.

The southern African countries on ‘high risk’ include: South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique or Malawai, Seychelles and Namibia.

Here we look at the countries across continents, who have sealed their borders to avoid the transmission of Omicron Covid-19 variant.


The Asian countries which have adopted toughest measure of sealing their borders to avoid the transmission of Omicron Covid-19 variant include Japan and Israel. Both have closed their doors to the foreigners and also introduced toughest restrictions for their native travellers. Recently, Israel’s government also gave permission for controversial phone surveillance for contact tracing.

Besides, there are countries in Asia including Philippines dependant on tourism which are mulling to suspend its doors for now on tourists, due to Omicron Covid-19 variant. South Korea and Thailand are also putting restrictions on their flight movement to curb the influx of foreigners and also putting in strict measures for any foreign travellers, who have already arrived in the country.


US is also among the countries which believes the spread of Omicron Covid-19 variant can be stopped at its borders. So, the country has blocked the entry of foreign nationals from southern African countries.

Canada has also imposed travel restrictions for travellers from southern African countries to contain the spread of Omicron Covid-19 variant. The country has already reported cases of Omicron Covid-19 variant. For now, the country has ordered that only Canadian nationals from the southern African countries can travel to the country.

Brazil has also imposed a ban on flights from southern African countries.
Mexico remains the only country in the continent that has ruled out border closures, due to Omicron Covid-19 variant.


In Europe, the Germany has allowed its airlines companies to allow fly its citizens from the “high risk” southern African countries. The country has also made it mandatory for travellers visiting the country to spend mandatory 14 day quarantine, provided they test positive or negative for the virus.

The England has also kept south African countries on its red list. However, it has resumed its flight operations to the region while making mandatory 10 day quarantine period mandatory for travellers from these countries at their own expenses.

Switzerland has also significantly tightened travel restrictions. The country has made 10 day quarantine period mandatory for travellers from the south African countries entering it.


Australia has postponed its plan to relax entry rules to the people with the country’s visa for at least two more weeks.

The country has put blanket ban on travellers, who have been in the “high risk” southern African countries in the past 14 days.

Besides, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have also put these southern African countries in “high risk” list.


In Africa itself there are countries including Angola, Egypt, Mauritius and Rwanda which have imposed travel restrictions on southern African countries.


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