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Jacksonville doctor: Travel ban likely won't keep the omicron variant away from our shores

Dr. Mohammed Reza says the travel ban will hopefully decrease the number of variants that will be coming into our country.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Air travel will be restricted in the U.S. starting Monday, due to the omicron variant that is rapidly spreading in more countries.

“Given how contagious these viruses are and how available air travel is across the world it’s very unlikely that we’re going to be able to not have this variant arrive at our continent," said Dr. Mohammed Reza, local infectious disease specialist.

Reza says this travel ban will give scientists essential time to prepare and learn more about this variant.

“The other important part is that extra time should also give us as a population, as a county, as a country to do the things that we need to do to prepare. First and foremost, that is to vaccinate if you’re not vaccinated and to get the booster," Dr. Reza said. 

Dr. Reza explained that in the next few weeks doctors should have a better understanding of the omicron variant.

“But the really important thing that we are waiting for is to see how transmissible or how contagious this variant is compared to the delta variant," Dr. Reza said.

Dr. Reza added if you are planning to travel you should follow the safety protocols that we’ve been taught since the beginning of the pandemic, getting the COVID vaccine, washing your hands, and wearing a mask.

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