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CDC directs airlines to provide information about passengers returning from southern Africa

Holiday Travel Georgia
Posted at 5:42 PM, Dec 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-01 23:51:30-05

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is requiring airlines to submit information about passengers who are entering the U.S from southern Africa amid fears of the omicron COVID-19 variant spreading.

The order affects passengers who have been to Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Airlines are required to provide the federal government with the passenger's name, address, phone number, email address, date of birth and flight information.

"CDC is issuing this Directive to prevent the importation and spread of a communicable disease of public health importance," the order states.

The omicron variant was first identified in South Africa. However, it's since been discovered in other countries. The U.S. reported its first case in California on Wednesday.

The World Health Organization has called the omicron variant a "variant of concern." However, it's still unclear how well vaccines work against the variant or if it causes more severe illness.