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World Health Organization says seniors should postpone travel due to Omicron concerns

More than a dozen countries have reported cases of the Omicron variant, sparking concerns.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — As cases of the Omicron variant emerge, the World Health Organization is recommending people, over the age of 60, with underlying health issues, to postpone travel.

However, not everyone plans to heed that warning.

"I think we all need to follow the restrictions in place at this point in time," said Patricia Zahorian, a frequent traveler.

Zahorian enjoys traveling as a hobby and recently returned from Ireland.

"It was wonderful, I'd go back in a heartbeat," she said.

However, the 70-year-old grandmother has already scheduled herself for another trip in February and has no plans on canceling.

"It’s not going to stop me unless the rules become such that I’m concerned on coming back," she said.

According to a new survey from travel site, The Vacationer, more than 122 million Americans plan to travel far distances to celebrate the holidays.

Though, travel experts say, if you have not booked yet, you may be out of luck.

"If you have not purchased your vacation for the holidays, believe me, you're going to be shut out," said Margaret Richcreek, a travel agent.

To limit the spread of the new variant, the U.S. has imposed travel restrictions eight African nations:

  • South Africa
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique 
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Botswana
  • Zimbabwe
  • Zambia

For those who are planning to travel, the Center for Disease Control is recommending people to be fully vaccinated or get a booster shot.

"That’s the thing that we ask them first because so many tour companies are asking 'do you have the vaccine, do you have the boosters' and frankly they’re not even allowing people to go on tours unless the have the vaccines," said Richcreek.

Travel agents are urging people to purchase insurance when booking flights in case of emergencies and last-minute changes. 

Also, travelers must be prepared to take a negative Covid-19 test as some countries may require it to enter.

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