Omicron variant: European countries prepare a protocol to resume flights with southern Africa

Information poster for passenger health control at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. EFE / EPA / IAN LANGSDON / POOL / File (IAN LANGSDON / POOL /)

European countries are negotiating “an extremely reinforced protocol” to be able to resume flights that have been suspended to destinations in southern Africa due to the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus that was originally detected in that region.

The announcement was made by the French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, that in an interview this Wednesday to the station RTL explained that his country is going to extend the suspension of flights with seven countries in southern Africa until Saturday to prepare that protocol under discussion.

Beaune specified that the extension of this flight suspension until Saturday is to give himself time in the negotiation of coordinated control measures to be applied when air contacts are reestablished.

He indicated that they will be fixed Obligations to carry out tests before boarding the plane and once it has landed, as well as periods of isolation.

French Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune in a file image.  EFE / EPA / FLORIAN WIESER
French Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune in a file image. EFE / EPA / FLORIAN WIESER (FLORIAN WIESER FLORIAN WIESER /)

He added that the tests will probably be imposed even on vaccinated people.

The French Secretary of State for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, said for his part in another interview to the channel CNews that the reopening of lines with those southern African countries will be “In a very restricted way”.

However, he stressed that all French and French residents who are there may be repatriated.

For her part, the head of the European Union medical agency assured on Tuesday that she is prepared to deal with the new omicron variant and that in two weeks it will have an indication of whether current vaccines against COVID-19 can combat it.

EMA headquarters in Amsterdam, in a file photo.  EFE / EPA / REMKO DE WAAL
EMA headquarters in Amsterdam, in a file photo. EFE / EPA / REMKO DE WAAL (REMKO DE WAAL /)

Emer Cooke, the executive director of the European Medicines Agency, stated that, andn case a new vaccine is needed to attack the omicron variant, it will take up to four months to approve its use in the block of 27 countries.

“We know that at some stage there will be a mutation that will force us to change the current strategy,” he said.

(With information from EFE and AP)

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Source-www.infobae.com