The World Health Organisation has criticised blanket travel bans made in response to Omicron, claiming it "attacks global solidarity".
With the devastation of Delta still fresh in the minds of many, it's unsurprising countries rushed to enact travel bans after hearing of the highly contagious Omicron variant.
By November 28, just four days after South Africa first reported cases to WHO, some 56 countries had implemented travel measures specifically aimed to delay the import of Omicron. Some countries only restricted travel to and from southern Africa while others closed their borders entirely.
However, WHO has criticized the blanket bans, claiming they place a huge cost on developing countries for very little return.
"Blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread, and they place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods," said WHO's regional director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti.
"COVID-19 constantly exploits our divisions. We will only get the better of the virus if we work together for solutions."
Sure enough, Omnicron has already been detected in several countries including Australia, Japan, France and Belgium.
WHO said South Africa and Botswana should be praised for swiftly identifying and sharing information about the new variant.
"The speed and transparency of the South African and Botswana governments in informing the world of the new variant is to be commended," said Moeti.
"WHO stands with African countries which had the courage to boldly share life-saving public health information, helping protect the world against the spread of COVID-19."
When it comes to dealing with international travellers, WHO said countries should take "an evidence-informed and risk-based approach" which included screening before and upon arrival, testing or quarantine following a thorough risk assessment.
Information about the variation is still limited and could take weeks to untangle. Evidence suggests it is more contagious than previous variations however whether it is more deadly is yet to be confirmed.
What experts do know is that Omicron won't be the last variation to sweep the globe if vaccination inequality between rich nations and developing countries continues.
According to former Prime Minister and current co-chair of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, Helen Clark, vaccines had been horded by wealthy countries.
"Sadly, the global response had been woeful, and our panel had said there had been delays and slip-ups at every step," Clark said.
"Where you have a very very low proportion of a population vaccinated, and the virus is circulating in the community, you have the chance of more deadly, more transmissible variants spreading."