The Latest: Spain orders 10-day quarantine for some Africans

Passengers queue to check in at Heathrow Airport in London, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. 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 Afri
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The Associated PressPassengers queue to check in at Heathrow Airport in London, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. 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. In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said mask-wearing in shops and on public transport will be required, starting Tuesday. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

MADRID — Spain has imposed a 10-day mandatory quarantine for visitors coming from seven southern African countries, where omicron, a new coronavirus variant, was first been identified.

Spain’s move comes as more and more countries are imposing travel restrictions, even though much remains unknown about omicron.

The mandatory isolation affects travelers from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe who arrive in Spain directly or with stopovers in other countries.

Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares said that more than 200 nationals who were in the region and whose flights have been cancelled will be brought back to Spain on flights that are still operating to parts of Europe.

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MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:

— 13 omicron cases discovered in Portuguese soccer club

— AP explains what is known and not known about the new COVID-19 variant

— Merriam-Webster chooses vaccine as the 2021 word of the year

— Why WHO skipped ‘nu,’ ‘xi’ for new COVID variant

— See all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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TOKYO — Japan announced Monday it will suspend entry of all foreign visitors from around the world as a new coronavirus variant spreads.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the measure will take effect Tuesday.

The decision means Japan will restore border controls that it eased earlier this month for short-term business visitors, foreign students and workers.

Over the weekend, Japan tightened entry restrictions for people arriving from South Africa and eight other countries, requiring them to undergo a 10-day quarantine period at government-designated facilities.

Many countries have moved to tighten their borders after the new omicron variant of the coronavirus was found in a number of nations.

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A school in Denmark was shut down after a new coronavirus variant was found in a student. The type of variant is still unknown, and it is being investigated, authorities said.

Because of the uncertainty surrounding what variant it is, the Danish Patient Safety Authority urged people to stay home and extensive tests were being made.

Two suspected cases of omicron, a new coronavirus variant believed to be more contagious, were detected on the weekend in people entering the Scandinavian country from South Africa. Both people have been isolated.

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LONDON — Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there is evidence of local transmission of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus after the country reported its first six cases.

She told a news conference that not all the cases in Scotland had links to recent travel, adding that this suggests “there might already be some community transmission of this variant in Scotland.”

The new cases takes the U.K.’s total to nine after three cases were identified in England over the weekend.

The arrival of the variant on British shores prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to tighten restrictions on mask-wearing and testing of international arrivals to England.

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ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s planning minister said a big vaccination campaign against coronavirus will be expedited this week to minimize the threat of the new variant.

Asad Umar warned that the new coronavirus variant known as omicron will inevitably come to the Islamic nation in the next few weeks, and he urged unvaccinated citizens to get their shots as soon as possible.

Umar said since the world is interconnected, it is impossible to stop the new variant from entering Pakistan.

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LISBON, Portugal — Portuguese health authorities said they have identified 13 cases of omicron, the new coronavirus variant believed to be more contagious, among team members of a professional soccer club.

The Ricardo Jorge National Health Institute said Monday that one of those who tested positive at the Lisbon-based Belenenses soccer club had recently traveled to South Africa, where the omicron variant was first identified.

The others, however, hadn’t traveled to South Africa, indicating that this may be one of the first cases of local transmission of the virus outside of southern Africa.

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BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania wants to repatriate 39 of its citizens from South Africa, including members of a professional rugby team, amid suspended flights because of concerns over the omicron variant.

Romania’s foreign ministry said it will organize a special repatriation flight and urged Romanian citizens in South Africa who want to leave the country to notify the authorities as soon as possible.

Romania’s sports minister, Eduard Novak, said he has been in close contact with Romania’s national champion rugby team whose members are in South Africa.

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