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You may have to re-think your holiday plans as Health Minister hints at inter-provincial travel ban

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Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla has hinted that a ban may be imposed on inter-provincial travel as the new Covid-19 variant, Omnicron, continues to spread across SA.

The number of people at the beach in Durban increases as the festive season approaches. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban – If you were hoping to travel anywhere in the country over the festive season, you may have to re-think your plans.

Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla, has hinted that a ban may be imposed on inter-provincial travel as the new Covid-19 variant, Omnicron, continues to spread across SA.

Phaahla said while he was not in a position to confirm the ban, if infections continued to rise, government would have to look at measures to contain the spread.

Speaking during a virtual Q & A session on Friday, the Minister said that whatever was decided would be based on a risk-adjusted approach.

On Thursday the Department of Health confirmed the discovery of the new variant. The Department believed that Omnicron was behind a recent spike in new Covid-19 infections, particularly in Gauteng and Tshwane.

Meanwhile, the Presidency has announced that President Cyril Ramaphosa has moved up his meeting with the National Coronavirus Command Council. He was only due to meet with the NCCC on Sunday.

In a series of Tweets, the Presidency said the council would assess developments in the Covid-19 pandemic, including scientific updates around the newly detected Coronavirus variant, which has been named Omnicron by the World Health Organisation.

“The outcomes of this meeting will give direction as to whether further consultation is required at the level of the President’s Coordinating Council,” the Presidency said.

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