Here we go again! “Omicron’s very emergence is another reminder that although many of us might think we are done with COVID-19, it is not done with us," said the WHO this week. The emergence of a new 'variant of concern' is striking fear across South East Asia after the damage the Delta variant caused earlier in 2021 - and continues to cause in some countries of the region. Omicron events have already moved quickly, as governments around the world erect new travel barriers and quarantines come back into fashion. On today's show, Gary and Hannah assess the current Omicron situation across South East Asia, Asia Pacific and beyond. We also discuss the potential direct and indirect impacts on the region's gradual reopening, which was starting the gain momentum until late last week. What could the new variant mean as the Christmas/New Year and the Lunar New Year travel periods draw near? Plus, might this present new opportunities to scale up regional travel agreements and prevent the recent progress from descending into a retreat from travel?
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