Experts Skeptical Travel Restrictions Are Answer To Omicron Variant

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Experts Skeptical Travel Restrictions Are Answer To Omicron Variant
Restrictions imposed by the U.S. and other countries bring new worries for a tourism industry that was just starting to get back on its feet.

Experts are skeptical that travel restrictions will slow the spread of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant as countries around the world impose light lockdowns.

"Blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread of Omicron and they place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods," World Health Organization Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

Despite the WHO standing against travel bans, President Biden is standing behind restrictions on entry into the U.S. from South Africa.

The restrictions are worrisome for a tourism industry that was just starting to get back on its feet after more than a year of brutal cuts to flight schedules and hotel bookings.

While U.S. airlines conservatively add back to reduced international schedules, operators overseas are already feeling the pinch.

U.K.-based Easyjet says the new variant already appears to be denting bookings, but with a lot of uncertainty about Omicron's severity and ability to evade vaccines, the dips aren't as bad as before.

As more information becomes available, leaders may be willing to stay the course by screening passengers as they come, requiring face masks and social distancing those in large groups.