File photo.

Doctors last week were saying it’s probably just a matter of time before the omicron variant showed up here in the Tampa Bay area. Now Channel 8 reports that a patient at Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa is the city’s first confirmed case. They say the symptoms for this patient are mild. The patient recently traveled out of the country.

New travel restrictions went into place yesterday at Tampa International Airport to hopefully slow the impact of omicron variant spread in Florida. For those flying into the U.S. from another country, starting this week, you’re going to need to prove you don’t have COVID-19.  You must take a test within a day of your flight. You do not need to be vaccinated though.  In fact, you don’t get out of the testing requirement just because you’ve been vaccinated. And yes, this includes children ages 2 and up.

For visitors from other countries, you’ll need to be fully vaccinated, with a few exemptions. Foreign visitors will also need to disclose if they’ve been to any of the restricted countries within the past 2 weeks. These countries include Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.  If they have, they won’t even be able to board the plane.

The recommendation from doctors continues to be… get vaccinated. Even through they don’t prevent all cases of COVID-19, they say most of those who end up in the hospital didn’t get the shot. [Source: Channel 8]

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