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New Zealand Halts Travelers From Southern Africa to Curb Virus

An Air New Zealand Ltd. aircraft at the International Terminal of Auckland Airport in Auckland, New Zealand. 

An Air New Zealand Ltd. aircraft at the International Terminal of Auckland Airport in Auckland, New Zealand. 

Photographer: Brendon O'Hagan/Bloomberg

New Zealand will ban entry to travelers from nine Southern African countries from the start of next week, other than returning citizens, in an attempt to stop the spread of the new Covid-19 variant.

“The government is taking a precautionary approach in treating South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Seychelles, Malawi and Mozambique as very high risk countries to reduce the chance of omicron entering New Zealand,” Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said in a statement on Saturday.