Omicron COVID-19 variant raises holiday travel concerns

Posted at 6:19 AM, Dec 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-01 09:19:09-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The omicron COVID-19 variant is halting travel plans for many, as countries implement travel bans and as scientists rush to find out more about this new strain.

San Diegan Leah Kirgis was just in South Africa in early November. On Sunday, she was set to go back, but her plans were canceled because of concerns over the omicron variant.

“There's been a few trip cancellations, one of my own included; I was supposed to leave just Sunday night, so two nights ago to South Africa myself,” said Kirgis, a local travel agent.

Kirgis said her airline canceled the trip because she had a connecting flight in the United Kingdom. She’s not only dealing with a canceled trip, but also with concerned clients that have questions about their upcoming trips.

Several countries including the U.S. have banned travel to and from several African nations. The World Health Organization has criticized these bans saying countries should follow science and international health regulations.

"If we can take it day by day and not make these quick, rash, knee-jerk decisions, travel bans are not the answer," said Kirgis.

For those planning to travel, Kirgis said don't panic but know your options and be flexible and purchase travel insurance.

The CDC currently recommends putting off any travel if you're not fully vaccinated.