It has already arrived in Australia, in the United States no infections related to the new strain have yet been identified, but it is probably only a matter of hours. Although the first news on the latest variant of Covid is less disastrous than expected, the world is preparing to face Omicron by trying to minimize the risks. “We have learned the lessons of the past”, says Minister Roberto Speranza, commenting Half an hour more on Rai 3 on the choice of many European countries to arm themselves and make a common front against the enemy. Restrictions have been foreseen in patches, but a shared containment strategy at European level could soon be prepared. But yesterday the WHO appealed not to close borders, asking that decisions be guided by science and not “unnecessarily invasive”. The president of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, speaks of “the fight against time”, the time needed to have a complete picture of the changes and to be able to act accordingly. Meanwhile, he urges people to get vaccinated. In Europe the cases of the new variant are multiplying (in the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, England, Austria, Denmark) and the concern leads to new travel restrictions and containment measures. Even Britain, which had long ago said goodbye to any limitation, after the third confirmed case reintroduced the molecular to enter and isolation until the result. In addition to the obligation to wear a mask in shops and on public transport. And today the British government has called an urgent meeting of G7 health ministers to discuss the new variant. Two confirmed Omicron cases and six other suspected cases convinced Israel to close its borders for two weeks: stop international arrivals, mandatory quarantine for Israelis arriving from abroad and monitoring of positives. The country is also preparing to celebrate Hanukkah, one of the most important Jewish holidays, in a “reduced” version. Even the highly vaccinated Portugal, with 87% of the population immunized, locks itself up and proclaims a “state of calamity”, which provides for the return to smart working and the obligation of a negative test for anyone entering the country. All flights from the former colony of Mozambique have been suspended and a “week of containment” is planned from 2 to 9 January, with closed discos, extended holidays for schools and a compulsory indoor mask. Switzerland also fears Omicron. And after the recommendations to avoid trips to countries where variants circulate, it was decided that those arriving from the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Egypt and Malawi must present a negative test when boarding the plane or upon arrival in the Confederation and undergo to 10 days of quarantine. In France, Omicron has not yet been officially registered, but Health Minister Olivier Véran believes it already circulates, being so widespread in neighboring countries. For this reason it was decided that all people, even if vaccinated, who have come into contact with cases of suspected or confirmed positivity to the variant, should be placed in quarantine. Morocco chooses the line of maximum caution by suspending flights arriving from all over the world for two weeks. Also tight in Tunisia, where non-resident foreigners over 18 will have to present a vaccination certificate, as well as a negative PCR test. 10 days of isolation are foreseen for the unvaccinated. Australia, which came out of the lockdown in October, is also struggling with the Omicron variant, identified in two foreigners who arrived in Sydney with a group of 12 other people, tested negative and placed in quarantine. The country has banned flights from 9 southern African countries for the time being. Same decision for the United States, where Omicron was not taken over. The State of New York has also declared a state of emergency.