Frustration at a South African airport where foreigners are about to return home

Travelers leaving South Africa expressed frustration on Monday after other countries imposed a flight ban due to the emergence of an Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

In the crowded scene at Johannesburg Airport, a British vacationer described the overall situation as a “nightmare.”

The detection of the omicron variant has led many countries to ban flights to and from southern Africa, confusing many traveler arrangements.

Some passengers from the United Kingdom and the United States were lining up to perform a PCR test for COVID-19 before boarding a plane to a country like Kenya or Ethiopia.

There is a hive of activity at the airport inspection and vaccination centers, where travelers pay up to R1500 ($ 92) for PCR tests and the results may be available in at least two hours.

Cindy McKinney, who traveled from New York to South Africa to help train police dogs, was one of those trying to find another way to get home.

Her first flight was scheduled to pass through Amsterdam, where flights from South Africa are banned.

British citizen Edward Burling, 48, said he would return home but would pass through Kenya to avoid hotel quarantine in the UK.

Associated Press