Attention to the variant Omicron was first raised by South African authorities in late November 2021, due to rapid spread in the country and a large number of concerning mutations. The World Health Organization called an urgent meeting and designated it a Variant of Concern on November 26. Currently the overall global risk is considered very high. An increasing number of countries are finding the variant in travellers, some of whom are fully vaccinated, and some of whom have no obvious links to South Africa. The variant is likely to spread, and it is already established in countries other than South Africa. Many countries have implemented sudden changes to their management of travellers from South Africa, affected and neighbouring countries, such as banning entry or extending quarantine and testing requirements.