As the world continues its journey towards the post-pandemic era, countless industries are looking to go back to normal, including the travel sector. Many businesses in the tourism industry hurry to find ways to keep their business afloat amid the trying times, especially this Omicron variant outbreak. But with the situation getting better in the past year, government regulations have helped them ensure that they can continue their operations without risking their clients contracting the virus.
For example, travellers must first ensure that they undergo fit to fly tests before departure to ensure that they do not have the virus before leaving. And once they are already in quarantine at their destination, they must take day 2 and 8 testing to have a full assurance that they did not get infected while travelling. These guidelines provide certainty that any of the tourists does not contract COVID.
But despite the overall improvement in the COVID-19 situation worldwide, a new variant is threatening to force nations to revert to stricter protocols. Scientists first introduced the B.1.1.529 variant, famously called Omicron, which originated from the Southern African countries of South Africa and Botswana. The virus is now detected in more than 110 countries, and the number of cases continually increases every week.
The rapid rise of Omicron cases is mainly attributed to the high transmission rate of the variant. The doubling rate of Omicron is much faster compared to Alpha or Beta variants, causing it to be more contagious. But health experts reported that the new variant is less severe than its predecessors. Typical symptoms include runny nose, headache, fatigue, and only limited cases are recorded where the patients experienced a loss of taste and smell and a drop in oxygen levels.
To learn more about what we know about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, check this infographic from Harley Medic International, a trusted and reliable provider of COVID-19 testing kits in the UK.