Each country is releasing its own fresh guidelines to protect its citizens from Covid’s new variant Omicron. The USA on its part has extended requirements for travellers to wear masks while journeying – be it on airplanes, buses, trains or at the airport. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had earlier extended the transportation mask order through January 18, and it has now been further extended through mid-March.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also said that it will soon impose stricter Covid-19 testing rules for passengers traveling to the country. The US confirmed its first Omicron case on Wednesday in a fully vaccinated person who returned to the country from South Africa on November 22 and tested positive a week later.
Apart from South Africa, other countries to report cases of the new variant are Australia, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Britain, Israel, Netherlands and Hong Kong.
Scientists are still trying to figure out the behaviour of the variant and if the already available vaccines will offer protection from it. While in most cases the symptoms have been mild and did not include drop in oxygen levels, the World Health Organisation has said that Omicron is highly transmissible.