By Chioma Obinna

*Morocco, halts all incoming flights

On the heels of the spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant in Africa and Europe, Indonesia says from Monday it will ban entry of travellers who have been in eight African countries including Nigeria and extend quarantine times for all arrivals to curb the spread of the new variant.

The ban extends to people who have been in South Africa, Nigeria, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Eswatini in the past 14 days but delegates attending G20 meetings, which Indonesia chairs, will not be affected.

The new Omicron variant also – known B.1.1.529 variant – is said to be highly transmissible and the ‘most concerning’ since the Delta variant outbreak.

Coordinating minister, Luhut Pandjaitan, who disclosed this to a news conference said the restriction will be evaluated every two weeks.

“Omicron has spread to more countries, so to respond to these developments, today the government wants to carry out the following policies. Indonesian citizens entering Indonesia from the listed African countries and Hong Kong will also now have to quarantine in designated facilities for 14 days. All other travellers entering the country will have to quarantine for seven days compared to three days previously,” he added.

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