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Switzerland bars entry of Israelis due to new COVID-19 variant

Switzerland has barred Israelis from entering its territory, after the new “Omicron” variant from South Africa was discovered in Israel, a statement from the Swiss Embassy in Tel Aviv said.

The country has also barred citizens of other countries in which the variant was discovered from entering its territory.

Those carrying Swiss or EU passports will be allowed to enter, but will be required to quarantine for ten days.

In a press release, the Embassy said:

“Due to the new B1.1.529 virus mutation, Switzerland immediately took measures to prevent or at least slow down the spread of the new variant as far as possible.”

The statement added that these restrictions applied from Friday, November 26 at 8:00p.m., and applied to “all persons entering the country from the South Africa region, Hong Kong, Israel and Belgium.”

“These people will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test and be quarantined for 10 days,” the statement added.

However, it noted that, “Entry from these countries is no longer possible for persons who are not Swiss citizens or who have a residence permit in Switzerland or in the Schengen area.”

Two cases of the “Omicron” variant, have been identified in the UK, that country’s health secretary said, according to BBC.

Those cases were linked to travel to southern Africa, and the families are isolating.

Also on Saturday a minister in Germany’s Hesse state said that several cases of the variant were suspected in the area, and that a full sequencing was underway. Those cases as well were linked to travel to southern Africa.

The new variant has also been identified in Botswana, South Africa, Israel, Belgium, and Hong Kong.

Source: Arutz Sheva