Turkey closes borders to five countries due to new COVID-19 variant

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced that the country imposed a ban on travel from five African countries after the emergence of a new coronavirus variant.

Duvar English - Reuters

Turkey closed its borders to passengers from five countries as a measure against the new coronavirus variant, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Nov. 26. 

Travelers from Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe will not be allowed to enter as of Nov. 26 night due to rising cases of the new variant, Koca said in a tweet. 

The World Health Organization has declared the new coronavirus strain from southern Africa a “variant of concern,” naming it Omicron.

The UK has also suspended flights from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, whereas EU member states have agreed to introduce rapid restrictions on all travel from these countries as well as Mozambique.​​​​​​​