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COVID-19: Canada, UK among countries banning travel from southern Africa due to "Omicron" variant

Canada, the U.K., France and Israel are some of the countries that recently banned air travel from southern Africa after a new variant, known as “Omicron,” was recently detected in South Africa and labeled by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a variant of concern.

The European Union’s chief executive has also called for the suspension of travel connected to places where the variant has been detected. But WHO is cautioning against the move, asking countries to use a risk-based approach as opposed to a full ban. Cases have already been detected in Belgium and in Hong Kong as well.

South Africa’s own health minister on Thursday spoke about the variant, saying the government would be meeting to determine the implications of the variant.

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