Get our newsletter delivered directly to your inbox
I have already subscribed | Do not show this message again
Your email has been successfully registered.
Countries are once again closing borders and imposing restrictions on certain regions due to the threat of spread.
Because of the increase in cases of infection with the new Omicron variant of the virus causing COVID-19, several countries worldwide are imposing new sanitary restrictions such as border closures and increasing other restrictive measures.
Starting next week, the United States announced that all foreign travelers intending to arrive in the country must present a negative test for Covid-19, performed one day before the trip, and must also be vaccinated, according to the White House on Thursday.
At the same time, the Biden Administration specified that a series of measures would be implemented to promote vaccination and to face the spread of COVID-19 during the winter. On Wednesday, the U.S. detected its first confirmed case of the new variant in California in a vaccinated person who returned from South Africa on November 22.
Canada announced on Sunday its first cases of the Omicron variant in two travelers from Nigeria. Following these first cases, others have been identified in the rest of the country, especially in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta.
Similarly, Brazil confirmed on Wednesday the third case of infection with the variant in a traveler from Ethiopia, according to the Government of Sao Paulo. The 29-year-old man detected was vaccinated with two doses of the Pfizer vaccine and has been isolated since Saturday, without symptoms and under strict health surveillance.
The other two first cases in the South American giant were confirmed last Tuesday in a man and a woman who arrived from South Africa on November 23. Both were vaccinated with the Janssen antigen in that country.
Because of the detection of these cases in the second country in the world with the most deaths due to the pandemic, Brazil closed its air borders as of Monday, November 29, to six African countries: Botswana, South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
In turn, France confirmed on Thursday its first case of the variant on the mainland in a traveler from Nigeria, who is symptom-free and isolated with his wife, who also tested positive. Still, it is not yet known if it is the same variant of the coronavirus.
Previously, the French territory had detected a case in Reunion Island. The Government tightened travel restrictions to contain the spread and suspended flights from southern Africa in response to this alert. In addition, it will require a negative COVID-19 test for all travelers arriving from territories outside the European Union, even if they are vaccinated.
On 11/30, U.S. government SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group classifies #OmicronVariant as Variant of Concern (VOC), a decision based on multiple factors. No cases of this variant have been identified in U.S. to date. CDC is closely following details. https://t.co/hHasqQQ6o4
Denmark is at risk of infection after detecting an infected person with the new variant at a concert held last Saturday in Aalborg with 1,600 spectators.
Authorities urged people who attended the concert to get tested as soon as possible, anticipate symptoms carefully, and isolate themselves if infected.
Previously, the Danish authorities confirmed four cases of the new variant Omicron in travelers returning from South Africa.
Meanwhile, Portugal confirmed its 19th positive case of COVID-19 affected with the new variant this Thursday. On this occasion, five cases were established in the Belenenses soccer team, according to the country's Director-General of Health, Graça Freitas.
Previously, 14 cases had been confirmed. Although it has not been proven, authorities suspect that a South African soccer player belonging to the Portuguese First Division team, who carried the disease and played with his country's national team in mid-November, could be the outbreak's source.
The European country began its state of calamity on Wednesday, after recording the highest number of infections in the last five months, with some 4,670 positive cases, 17 deaths and an incidence of 349.8 per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days.
To enter restaurants and enclosed spaces, people must carry a vaccination certificate and the Government increased controls at borders and airports. The land border with Spain will only allow the passage of Spaniards with vaccination certificates, except for border workers.
In addition, European citizens leaving high-risk areas must present certificates and negative tests to enter Portuguese territory.