Restrictions on international travel are ineffective in combating the spread of the omicron coronavirus strain, they need to be abolished or weakened, the World Health Organization (WHO) committee on Emergencies related to COVID-19 said in a statement.
"The inability of travel restrictions imposed after the discovery and reporting of the omicron variant to limit the spread of omicron around the world demonstrates the ineffectiveness of such measures over time," the report says.
The Committee proposed to cancel or relax such restrictions because they are not beneficial and continue to aggravate economic and social stress. Measures to combat coronavirus during international travel should be based on risk assessment and should not be financially burdensome for travelers, the WHO added.
Due to the discovery of the omicron coronavirus strain, some countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and others, have begun to impose restrictions on foreigners coming from South African countries. Israel closed the border to all foreigners, but later allowed entry to those who had been vaccinated.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said last December that entry restrictions are ineffective and unfair, pointing out that "the virus really knows no borders." He urged countries to consider retesting for COVID-19 for travelers.
Sources: World Health Organization
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