About 150 Spaniards were stranded in South Africa while waiting for flights

After the crisis unleashed by the new alternative to COVID-19 called Omicron, more than 150 Spanish tourists are currently trying to return to Spain after new international restrictions on detecting the strain surprised them in South Africa or neighboring countries, they reported. Diplomatic Sources Efe.

Sources from the Spanish Embassy in South Africa indicated that “there are more than a hundred, but we do not count this number much more than 160 or 180. We refer to tourists or people who were passing through it and who are not residents.” on the data they have collected so far. The sources added, “Many of them are already at the airport or are waiting for flights that can leave within a day or two.”

Among them, for example, are the scores of travelers from Valladolid who stayed on the ground after Swiss airline Swiss International Airlines prevented them from traveling as planned, by changing their policies and starting to accept only their own citizens.

Information on the veto of the new variant:

The UK vetoes flights from 6 African countries for a new plane

Spain will suspend flights with South Africa and Botswana for the new version

The European Union suspends flights with South Africa due to the new alternative

Other companies, such as Dutch KLM, maintain flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town (southwest), despite the restrictions imposed from Europe, and transport EU residents from South Africa on commercial flights, provided they submit the corresponding negative tests.

Cape Town Airport.

“Compared with what the epidemic was, it is not very complicated,” the sources reassured, and also noted that compared to other European countries that are estimated to have thousands of tourists in South Africa these weeks, the restrictions do not affect such restrictions. A large number of Spaniards. Due to the availability of commercial flights, repatriation flights are not currently being considered.

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Scientists and health authorities in South Africa announced on Thursday the discovery of this new type of coronavirus, identified as B.1.1.529 and christened with the Greek letter omicron by the World Health Organization, based on samples taken in mid-November.

At the time of the announcement, infections had already been identified in Botswana and Hong Kong (China), but later discoveries were added in Israel, Belgium (a case of a traveler from Egypt with no clear links to South Africa), Australia, the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

The new variant – of which there are still very few confirmed cases in all – is characterized by presenting an unusual number of mutations (just over thirty) whose effect has not yet been studied.

Despite the limited information available (due to early detection), since the day of the announcement several countries, including the UK, US and EU countries, have announced severe travel restrictions for South African countries. .

Spain, although there are no direct flights to the region, has also joined the European route and has tightened entry controls for travelers from that region, who must test negative even when vaccinated.

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