atlanta airport
Passengers gather near Delta airline's counter as they check-in their luggage at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., May 23, 2021.Reuters/Carlos Barria
  • The CDC ordered airlines to share the identities of passengers who have traveled recently to southern Africa.
  • Airlines were given a 24-hour window after passengers arrive in the US to do so.
  • The notice applies to those who were in 1 of the 8 countries affected by travel restrictions put in place over the new Omicron variant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a directive requiring airlines to disclose passenger names and other information about those who have recently been in eight southern African countries, according to documents seen by Reuters.

Effective November 8, the CDC required all airlines to collect contact tracing information from all international air passengers but had not required them to turn over those names.

The directive, which took effect late Tuesday, requires airlines to turn over the information within 24 hours of passengers arriving in the United States who have been in one of the eight African countries subject to travel restrictions.

The World Health Organization (WHO) slammed countries on Monday for placing travel bans on countries in southern Africa over the new COVID-19 Omicron variant, Insider's Sinéad Baker previously reported.

"With the Omicron variant now detected in several regions of the world, putting in place travel bans that target Africa attacks global solidarity. COVID-19 constantly exploits our divisions. We will only get the better of the virus if we work together for solutions," said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, in a statement.   

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