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DIAMNIADIO, Senegal (AP) — Travel restrictions imposed on South Africa and other African nations for telling the world about the omicron variant are hypocritical, harsh and not supported by science, South Africa's president said Monday, recalling the phrase used by the U.N. chief, who called such measures “travel apartheid.”

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U.S. health officials said Sunday that while the omicron variant of the coronavirus is rapidly spreading throughout the country, early indications suggest it may be less dangerous than delta, which continues to drive a surge of hospitalizations.

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LONDON (AP) — Britain's government tightened travel restrictions Saturday amid concerns about the spread of the omicron coronavirus variant, saying all travelers arriving in England will need to take a COVID-19 test before they board their flight.

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett came under fire Thursday after his wife and children flew abroad just days after the Israeli leader urged citizens to avoid international travel because of the new coronavirus variant.

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Tourism businesses that were just finding their footing after nearly two years of devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic are being rattled again as countries throw up new barriers to travel in an effort to contain the omicron variant.

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GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. migration agency says the coronavirus pandemic appears to have accelerated “hostile rhetoric” against migrants in the world and “radically altered” mobility, projecting in a new report that travel and other COVID-19-fighting restrictions could dampen migration worldwide as long as they remain.

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The World Health Organization on Sunday urged countries around the world not to impose flight bans on southern African nations due to concerns over the new omicron variant.

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LONDON (AP) — The new potentially more contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus popped up in more European countries on Saturday, just days after being identified in South Africa, leaving governments around the world scrambling to stop the spread.

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GENEVA (AP) — The World Trade Organization is postponing its conference of government ministers set to open Tuesday after Switzerland initiated new travel restrictions following the emergence of a worrying new coronavirus variant, officials said.

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VILLA DEL ROSARIO, Colombia. (AP) — Xiomara Ruiz woke up before dawn and boarded a bus with her son to make a one-hour trip to the bridge connecting Venezuela to Colombia, which they crossed on foot. Their goal: to get the 8-year-old vaccinated against the coronavirus.

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More than a year and a half after COVID-19 concerns prompted the U.S. to close its borders to international travelers from countries including Brazil, China, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom and much of Europe, restrictions are shifting to focus on vaccine status.

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