While the fifth wave of Covid-19 infections was accompanied by fierce protests against the rollout of fresh restrictions across Europe, the appearance of a new variant named Omicron may prove to be a game-changer.
First identified in South Africa on 24 November 2021, the new variant, containing numerous mutations, presents an "increased risk of reinfection", according to the World Health Organisation. Omicron has now been detected in many countries, including the UK, Germany and Belgium. In the Netherlands, 61 passengers on two flights from South Africa tested positive for the coronavirus, with 13 believed to have contracted the new variant.
In order to combat the resurgence of the virus, new travel restrictions, especially to and from southern African countries, have been announced worldwide, as suggested by the European Union.
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