Russia completely bans travel from Botswana, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Eswatini and South Africa

The government of Russian Federation announced that foreigner visitors from nine African countries and Hong Kong are completely banned from entering Russia due to the spread of the COVID-9 virus.

A decree announcing new travel restrictions, was signed by Russian Prime Minister and published today.

New Russian government’s ruling effectively cancels all earlier exceptions for the diplomatic passport holders, travelers on business visa, and some other categories of visitors.

According to the decree, the countries effected are “Botswana, Zimbabwe, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Eswatini, the Republic of South Africa.”

Earlier, Russia’s anti-coronavirus crisis center reported that the entry of foreigners residing in Hong Kong or in some African countries would be ‘restricted’ due to the spread of the new strain of the infection.

On November 26, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated the B.1.1.529 variant identified in South Africa as a “Variant of Concern” and assigned it the Greek letter Omicron. 

In its statement, the WHO noted that “this variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning.” The epicenter of the spread of the Omicron strain is southern Africa.

The highest number of those infected with it has been detected in South Africa. The new strain has since been recorded in over 50 countries.

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