EU ends omicron travel ban on southern Africa flights

The European Union ended travel restrictions on flights from southern Africa after more than a month to curb the spread of the omicron variant of the new coronavirus.

BRUSSELS — The European Union on Monday ended travel restrictions on flights from southern Africa after more than a month in place in an effort to curb the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The highly contagious variant, which was first spotted in southern Africa in late November after the 27-nation bloc restricted the travel of tourists from the region, caused a sudden surge in infections.

Omicron has since become the main variant and has led to an unprecedented increase in infections in the EU and many other countries. That makes the travel ban in southern Africa a point of contention.

The French presidency of the European Union announced on Monday that 27 member states had agreed to “lift emergency breaks to resume air travel with southern African countries”.

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