Indonesia has announced an entry ban on travellers from Nigeria and seven other African countries to curb the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant first recorded in South Africa days ago.
Other countries affected by the travel ban include travellers who have been to South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini or Nigeria in the past 14 days.
The restriction takes effect on Monday and would be evaluated every two weeks, Coordinating Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said at a news conference on Sunday, according to Reuters.
“Omicron has spread to more countries, so to respond to these developments, today the government wants to carry out the following policies,” Pandjaitan said.
Indonesian citizens entering Indonesia from the listed African countries and Hong Kong will also now have to quarantine in designated facilities for 14 days, Pandjaitan added.
All other travellers entering the country will have to quarantine for seven days compared to three days previously, he added.
The World Health Organisation had on Friday declared the new COVID-19 strain first discovered in South Africa to be a variant of concern and renamed it Omicron.
The classification puts Omicron into the most-troubling category of COVID-19 variants, along with the globally-dominant Delta, plus its weaker rivals Alpha, Beta and Gamma.