Thailand said on Saturday that it is banning travellers from wight African nations following the emergence of the new Covid-19 variant. The new variant called Omicron is designated as a high-risk infection.
Starting in December, travel from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, will be prohibited, senior health official Opas Karnkawinpong told a news conference.
Thailand will not allow travellers from these countries to register to travel to Thailand starting on Saturday, he said.
The variant has already crossed the border to other parts of the world including some parts in Asia and Europe, with one case in Hongkong and Belgium each.
"Those that have already been approved to enter the country from these eight countries will be ordered to undergo an additional 14-day mandatory quarantine, starting now," department director-general Opas Karnkawinpong told reporters.
People arriving from other African nations will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine period.
Thailand has recorded more than 2.1 million Covid infections, the lion's share since the Delta variant took off in April.
Only 57 percent of the population of 70 million people are fully vaccinated.
(with agency inputs)