On Thursday, South Africa's health minister announced the discovery of the B.1.1.529 variant (Omicron coronavirus variant), which appears to be spreading rapidly in several parts of the country.
The announcement was followed by multiple countries restricting travelers arriving from South Africa and countries surrounding the nation.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it’s a “Variant of concern” and called on countries to enhance their surveillance.
Effective today, Maldives will be restricting entry for travelers from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, and Eswatini until further notice.
This includes travelers who have been to any of these countries in the last 14 days and travelers who have been in transit in any of these countries for more than 12 hours.
This restriction excludes Maldivian citizens and expatriates however upon entry they‘ll be required to undergo a mandatory quarantine for 14 days and obtain a COVID-19 negative PCR
test results before they are released from quarantine.
Omicron cases have been detected in the UK, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel, and etc.