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The travel ban imposed on South Africa and several other African countries has been lifted by the European Union (EU).

The EU’s decision follows similar decisions taken by the United Kingdom, the United States and other countries including the island nation of Mauritius.

The ban was imposed to curb the spread of the omicron variant which was first detected in South Africa in November.

France, the country currently holding the rotating EU presidency, announced the decision in a tweet. While the ban has been lifted on all air travel, travellers from the region will still be subject to health measures applicable to travellers from third countries, the tweet said.

Travellers from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, eSwatini, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique now have to provide a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken at most 72 hours before arrival.

News24 reports that although the EU coordinates travel guidelines within and into the bloc, member nations are still responsible for devising and implementing the specific travel restrictions outlined by the EU.

Image credit: Schengen Visa

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