2021.11.29 14:15

Lithuania will not ban travel over Omicron variant – health minister

LRT.lt2021.11.29 14:15

There are no immediate plans to introduce travel bans in Lithuania over the new coronavirus variant, according to Health Minister Arūnas Dulkys.

The so-called Omicron variant was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by South Africa last Wednesday, and early evidence suggests it may have a higher re-infection risk. It has been categorised by the WHO as a “variant of concern”.

Read more: Lithuania orders isolation, testing for arrivals from South Africa over new Covid variant

“Today, our decisions are what they are,” Dulkys told reporters on Monday, adding that there were no direct flight between Lithuania and South Africa.

On Friday, Lithuania announced that travellers from South Africa and neighbouring countries would be subject to stricter requirements: they will need to self-isolate and take two Covid-19 tests, on the third and seventh day after the arrival.

The rules apply to people who have travelled to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, and Eswatini.

A number of countries have instituted similar requirements to slow down the spread of the Omicron variant.

Some countries, including Japan and Israel, went further, banning entry to all foreign nationals.

Read more: Travel update: Lithuania adds Portugal to red list, orders isolation for arrivals from south African region

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