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the Omicron variant causes a new wave of restrictions

DECRYPTION – Compulsory test or isolation, suspension of air links… More and more countries are tightening their entry conditions in the face of fears inspired by the new variant of the coronavirus. A blow to tourism.

Will the Omicron variant put a new brake on world tourism? Under the combined effect of the fifth wave and the appearance of this new strain of Covid-19, several countries in Europe and on other continents are imposing new restrictions on foreign travelers, including vaccinated ones. Cases linked to the new variant, which has a “very high riskaccording to the World Health Organization (WHO), have been identified in around ten countries, including the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Canada.

Compulsory test for vaccinated travellers, suspension of air links, restrictions on site… Le Figaro provides an update on new travel restrictions related to the Omicron variant.

In Europe

  • UK : From Tuesday, November 30, all travelers entering the country will be required to complete a PCR test two days after arrival and self-isolate while awaiting results. Antigen testing will no longer be allowed.
  • Portugal: from December 1, all travelers, even vaccinated, must have a negative test (PCR of less than 72 hours or antigen of less than 48 hours). The vaccination certificate will be compulsory to access hotels and restaurants. The country will be confined from January 2 for a week.
  • Italy: a “super health pass” comes into effect from December 6 to January 15, 2022. During this period, only people vaccinated and cured of Covid-19 will be able to access restaurants, museums, theatres… Trains, hotels and public transport will remain also accessible to people with a simple negative test.

Elsewhere in the world

The hall of Marrakech Menara airport, this Saturday, November 27. Morocco closes its air borders for two weeks from November 29. Anne-Claire Delorme
  • Morocco: the kingdom suspends all commercial flights and maritime connections to its territory for a period of two weeks from Monday November 29, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Southern Africa: France is suspending arrivals from seven southern African countries (South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini) until at least Tuesday November 30.
  • Israel: the borders are closed to foreign nationals for 14 days since this Monday, November 29.
  • Philippines: the country is suspending its plan to reopen borders to tourists, even vaccinated, initially scheduled for December 1.

The concern of tour operators

While tourism professionals were delighted with a certain return to normal, notably under the effect of the reopenings of Canada, the United States or Thailand, these new restrictions have the effect of a cold shower. “We have the impression of returning to the worst of the crisis, in 2020regrets Jean-Pierre Mas, president of Entreprises du Voyage (EDV), joined by Le Figaro. With the fifth wave, bookings for stays with tour operators had already slowed down; with the Omicron variant, they have fallen sharply, especially towards countries which have closed their borders such as Morocco or Israel. The French want to leave again, as evidenced by the lengthening of expenses and time allocated to holidays; but this new wave may well jeopardize their freedom to move.»

Insofar as the services are no longer possible due to border closures or local traffic restrictions, travelers who have booked a stay with a travel agency will be offered a postponement or a full refund.

This article is subject to updates


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