WHO/Europe backs travel checks from US given spread of latest omicron variant

LONDON (Reuters): Given the rapid spread of the latest offshoot of the omicron variant — XBB.1.5 — in the United States, WHO Regional Office for Europe officials on Tuesday recommended travel measures be implemented in a “non-discriminatory” manner.

That is not to say that “we recommend testing of patient of passengers coming from the US at this stage. Countries need to look at the evidence base for pre-departure testing,” WHO’s senior emergency officer for Europe, Catherine Smallwood, told a news briefing.

Passengers should be recommended to wear masks in high-risk settings such as long-haul flights, she added, “this should be a recommendation issued to passengers arriving from anywhere where there is widespread COVID-19 transmission.”