As global health authorities raced to curb a potential outbreak of the Omicron virus, global financial hub, Hong Kong announced to expand a ban on entry for non-residents from several countries.
While Australia’s cabinet announced that they will review containment steps after five tested positive on Tuesday.
According to Singapore’s health ministry, they have recorded two travellers to test positive from Johannesburg for the variant in Sydney, as they transited through its Changi airport.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had recently announced that the new variant Omicron reported first from South Africa carries a “very high” risk of infection surges. Hence, triggering a global alarm, with border closures.
Hong Kong has become the latest to expand travel curbs. The city authorities announced that non-residents from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola, and Zambia would not be allowed to enter as of Nov. 30. While it will also implement the most stern quarantine requirements on relevant inbound travellers from the places mentioned above.
Under the list of travel banned countries, non-residents who have been to Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Israel, and Italy in the past 21 days, would also not be allowed to enter the city from Dec. 2.
The city had earlier banned non-residents arriving from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe pursuing a zero-COVID strategy.
According to the Australian health authorities, the five travellers with Omicron variant are all vaccinated and currently in quarantine. It added that they are asymptomatic or are displaying very mild symptoms.
Earlier on Monday, Canberra delayed the reopening of the nation’s borders for international students and skilled migrants, less than 36 hours before they were due to be allowed back in.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt of Canberra commented that they’re doing this out of an abundance of caution. However, their overwhelming view is that whilst the new virus variant is an emerging one, it is a manageable variant.
In the stock market, growing hopes that Omicron will be milder have helped restore some calm this week. On Friday, .FRX saw roughly $2 trillion being wiped off the value of global stocks. FRX.