On Saturday, a travel ban was imposed on seven African countries by Iran after the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant.
The head of Iran’s Center for Disease Control, Mohammad Mehdi Gouya, stated that travel bans for South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, and Eswatini were placed effective immediately.
Gouya stated that Iranians who are arriving from the seven African countries concerned must have two negative PCR tests, while noting that no passengers from these countries will be accepted to Iran. Should that not be the case, he said these Iranians will be kept in quarantine for up to 14 days at the border gates.
The new heavily mutated variant, which may be capable of evading the effects of vaccines, was first identified on November 11 in Botswana.
The new variant was named Omicron and was described as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday.
The declaration came after an independent group of experts met to assess the variant.