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MUMBAI: Sri Lanka said on Saturday it was barring travellers from six Southern African countries on Saturday over concerns about the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.

From Monday, travellers will not be allowed into the country from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini, Colombo said in a statement.

Travellers who arrived from these six countries over the past two days will have to undergo mandatory 14 days quarantine.

Thailand bans entry from 8 African countries over COVID Omicron variant

The World Health Organization on Friday declared the new coronavirus variant to be "of concern".

It was first reported to the WHO from South Africa on Wednesday and has been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.

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