Woman sets Covid quarantine hotel on fire

Omicron: International travel restrictions criticised by expert

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The blaze engulfed the top floor of a hotel on Sunday morning, forcing the evacuation of more than 160 guests.

There were no injuries, but the damage to the building was “significant” and forced authorities to relocate people to other COVID-19 quarantine facilities, reports RT.

Authorities said a woman, 31, lit a fire underneath her bed, after spending only a “couple of days” of the mandatory two-week quarantine inside the hotel.

Her two children were taken under police protection, while the woman was charged with arson and wilful damage.

It came as Australia confirmed two cases of the new coronavirus variant which is prompting new restrictions.

Omicron was first reported by South Africa, and has been classified as “of concern” by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with early evidence suggesting a higher re-infection risk.

The government in Canberra has announced a suspension of flights from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, the Seychelles, Malawi, and Mozambique, the BBC reports.

Australians have spent 20 months under some of the world’s strictest border rules, and currently it is not clear whether the new variant will mean a roll-back of some relaxations that began early this month.

A surge in vaccinations has allowed some Australian states to end their strategy of eliminating all cases.

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However, unvaccinated travellers are obliged to quarantine for 14 days in hotels in the country.

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