(Bloomberg) -- South Africa has not yet made any decisions on possible restrictions to limit a resurgence of coronavirus infections and the spread of a new variant, Health Minister Joe Phaala told local broadcaster Enca. 

The government, mindful of their impact, will think carefully before imposing new curbs, Phaala said in the interview.

“If there have to be any restrictions it will be after very thorough consultation with various stakeholders,” he said. 

He spoke after the National Coronavirus Command Council that met Saturday to look at measures the government can take. 

Among the options being considered are ways to try and boost the nation’s vaccination rate, Bloomberg reported earlier. Only about a third of South African adults are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. 

The identification by South African scientists of the new variant, known as omicron, has set off alarm bells around the world. 

The U.K. is among countries imposing travel restrictions on South Africa and its neighbors, posing a threat to the nation’s tourism industry, which accounts for 7% of economic output. The European Union, U.S. and much of the world has followed suit.


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