Hong Kong, India and Ecuador are the latest countries to introduce tighter entry restrictions in response to the newly identified omicron coronavirus variant, which is quickly spreading around the globe.
Hong Kong has broadened its travel ban on non-residents, with travellers who have been in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Canada, Israel and Australia in the past 21 day barred from entering, along with those hailing from Angola, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zambia.
Vaccinated residents may enter the city but must quarantine for seven days in a government facility before isolating for a further two weeks in a hotel at their own expense – 21 days in total.
India is also implementing stricter guidelines for international travellers, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
Travellers must submit their “travel history” of the previous 14 days before they board a flight; those from “at risk” destinations will be tested and must wait in a separate holding area on arrival until they receive a negative Covid result.
Meanwhile, Ecuador is demanding that all arrivals show proof of full vaccination, plus a negative Covid test.
It has also imposed a ban on visitors from a number of African countries.
“Entry into the national territory by any person whose point of departure, stopping or transit was South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Mozambique or Egypt is banned,” tweeted President Guillermo Lasso.
Restrictions are also tightening within the country – only residents who are fully vaccinated can enter bars, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, shopping centres and nightclubs.
Japan, Israel and Morocco have all taken the step of banning international visitors entirely amid fears that omicron could be more transmissible than the dominant delta variant, and worries about the efficacy of current vaccines in protecting against it.
Switzerland has imposed a 10-day quarantine on all British travellers, while Spain has said only double-jabbed Brits will be permitted entry.