The Heat: Omicron variant brings tougher restrictions

Scientists still know very little about a new coronavirus variant called “Omicron” but are sounding the alarm around the world. Experts now say the new COVID-19 variant was already in Europe before it was detected by scientists in South Africa. Cases have been identified in over twenty countries including Australia, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, raising fears governments will be forced to close borders and revisit restrictions. The United States plans to toughen coronavirus testing and screening of international fliers, requiring a negative test result within 24 hours of departure. Right now, the scientific community has more questions than answers.

Joining the discussion:

  • Hilary Brueck is a Health Correspondent for Insider.
  • Will Humble is the Exec. Director for the Arizona Public Health Association.
  • Dr. Chris Smith is a Consulting Virologist at the University of Cambridge and Co-presenter of the “Naked Scientists” podcast.
  • Dr. Angelique Coetzee is the Chair of the South African Medical Association and a general practitioner. 

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