Health officials in Australia announced on Sunday that they’ve detected two cases of the Omicron variant in travelers from southern Africa, the first such cases identified on the continent.
Driving the news: Both people who tested positive were asymptomatic and fully vaccinated, the country’s health agency said in a release. The new strain has also been detected in several European countries, the U.K., Israel and Hong Kong.
- The Netherlands also reported that they had identified cases of the variant among 13 passengers who arrived from southern Africa, per the National Institute for Health.
The big picture: Many countries have begun restricting or banning travel from countries in southern Africa in an effort to curb the spread of the variant.
- Australia imposed new security measures just a day before the variant was identified, barring anyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident from entering the country after having traveled to south African countries.
- The Netherlands have also imposed restrictions on travel to and from southern Africa, the country has also announced other measures such as an evening lockdown, according to the New York Times.