Chronology of major events related to Omicron coronavirus variant

© Kyodo News

The following is a chronology of major events related to the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Nov. 24, 2021 -- South Africa reports new coronavirus variant to World Health Organization.

Nov. 25 -- South Africa announces it has confirmed new variant. The variant is also detected in neighboring Botswana as well as Hong Kong. Britain suspends flights from six southern African countries.

Nov. 26 -- WHO names the variant Omicron, designates it a "variant of concern." Japan decides to tighten restrictions on travelers from South Africa and five nearby countries. Belgium announces Omicron infection case, first in Europe. The United States decides to tighten restrictions on travelers from eight southern African countries. European Union member countries agree to tighten restrictions on travelers from seven southern African countries.

Nov. 27 -- Britain decides to reintroduce COVID-19 restrictions in England, including wearing face masks in shops and on public transport. The United States issues "Do Not Travel" advisory for eight southern African countries.

Nov. 28 -- Australia confirms its first cases of Omicron variant. Israel bans entry of all foreigners.