Thailand suspends travel from South Africa and seven other African countries
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Thailand is the latest destination to suspend travel from South Africa.
The country revealed that the suspension was "due to the discovery and uncertainty around new Covid-19 variant Omicron".
The suspension from December 1 also includes Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
The announcement comes just after Thailand reopened to fully vaccinated South Africans on November 1, a year and a half after closing borders due to the pandemic.
South Africans could travel to 17 attractions within the country, dubbed Blue Zone Destinations. These included Bangkok, Krabi, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Trat, Buri Ram, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phang-Nga, Phetchaburi, Phuket, Ranong, Rayong, Loei, Samut Prakan, Surat Thani, Nong Khai, and Udon Thani.
Chiravadee Khunsub, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, shared details about the decision to suspend travel to some African destinations.
“It is with great regret that we announce our decision to impose this ban. The continued uncertainty around Omicron has resulted in the complete suspension of travel for South African and select African travellers until there is more clarity on the risks and transmission of the Covid-19 variant,” she said.
“The Thailand authorities will continue to monitor the situation closely and review the mandate as soon as more information on the new variant is made available.”
It is unclear when some destinations will reopen borders to South Africa. Already, Mauritius, Seychelles, the US and other destinations have implemented travel bans.
Most countries are monitoring the situation before making any travel restrictions.