- Daily cases of COVID-19 in India have almost doubled in the past three days.
- Hong Kong has decided to ban all travel from 8 countries, including India.
- The UK, on the other hand, has relaxed its travel restrictions to invite more travelers.
While some researchers say Omicron is the milder variant of COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that it could still pose a “very high” risk and overwhelm health systems to worldwide. The United Nations health agency later added that Omicron, while mild, is not a cold and should be taken seriously.
Countries like the United States of America (USA), the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and France are facing the full brunt of this new variant of COVID-19 and are therefore imposing new regulations to make so much damage control.
A quick glance at the tally of COVID-19 cases shows that infections in the United States have increased almost 1.6 times in the past three days, while cases in India have more than doubled. France, meanwhile, fell from 67,000 reported cases to 3.32 lakh cases between January 3 and 5.
|Country||Case on January 3||Case January 5|
|UK||1 57 758||1 94 747|
|India||37 379+||90 928|
It’s easier to travel to the UK than to the US
The United States – while it has now lifted all travel restrictions on South African countries – has decided to only allow people who have been vaccinated into the country. All international travelers, including those from India, must now be tested within one day of boarding a flight.
Instead of making travel more difficult, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has decided to remove pre-arrival COVID-19 testing for overseas travelers. This means that a person would not need a negative COVID-19 test to travel to the UK.
The UK government is also lifting the requirement for international travelers, including those coming from India, to self-isolate upon arrival in England until they receive a negative PCR result.
Hong Kong bans flights from India, Singapore suspends travel without quarantine
Hong Kong has banned all flights from 8 countries – including India, France, Pakistan, France, Australia, Canada, the Philippines, the UK and the US – because it fears the absolute worst. The country had reported 38 cases January 5.
Singapore has suspended all non-quarantine travel in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 variants. Travelers overseas must take a PCR test while traveling as well as a daily rapid antigen test during the first week in Singapore.
Germany eases entry restrictions for UK travelers, France bans non-essential travel
Germany is reopening to international travelers from the UK, two weeks after imposing a ban on all travelers from the country. Germany has now downgraded the UK’s COVID status to ‘high risk’. Unvaccinated travelers are subject to a 10-day quarantine, while vaccinated people do not need to self-quarantine.
France has also banned all non-essential travel regardless of the person’s vaccination status. Only French nationals as well as residents of France can visit the country. The French Home Office has also confirmed that British citizens living in the European Union are allowed to cross France on their way home from the United Kingdom.
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