Mauritius will suspend all commercial passenger flights from South Africa from November 28 due to the new coronavirus variant Omicron, its foreign affairs ministry said on Saturday.

A ministry statement also said any passengers who have been physically present in South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe will be denied entry or transit through Mauritius.

South African Airways, which restarted operations in September, said on Twitter it will stop flights to Mauritius as a result of the suspension.

Mauritius, whose economy largely relies on tourism, has 20 913 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 240 deaths reported since the pandemic began, according to a Reuters tally.

Other bans

Thailand said on Saturday it would ban the entry of people travelling from eight African countries it designated as high-risk for the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.

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.

Oman has also suspended entry to travellers from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Eswatini starting from November 28 due to the spread of a new variant of COVID-19 discovered in South Africa, the country’s state news agency said in a tweet on Saturday.

The UK, US and other EU countries have also imposed travel bans on South Africa.