Maldives restricts travel from 7 Southern African nations amid new Covid variant concern

The Maldivian government has announced travel restrictions banning foreign nationals from seven southern African nations, amid concerns about a new Covid-19 variant.

A statement issued by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) noted that due to the "Omicron" variant found in the South African region, the agency has decided to take various safety measures effective 12:00am tonight until further notice.

They also announced a travel ban on those coming through South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Eswatini excluding Maldivian residents and work permit holders.

This includes travelers who have stayed in the countries in question within 14 days prior to traveling to Maldives, and travelers who have transited in the countries in question for more than 12 hours.

They will need to get tested for COVID-19 after completing the 14 days, and will be released from quarantine once the test result comes back negative.

Travelers from the southern African countries in question who are already en route to Maldives when the new restrictions take effect will be subject to a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival. Those who are in Maldives for more than 14 days will be tested again in 14 days, while those who are in Maldives for a shorter period will be tested prior to departure, if it has been three days since they took the initial test.