Israel has added the United States to its “no-fly” list, citing concerns over the spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant.

Acting on health ministry recommendations, Israeli cabinet ministers voted on Monday to put the United States, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Morocco, Portugal, Canada, Switzerland and Turkey on the no-fly roster.

In Europe, Germany has ruled out a Christmas lockdown but warned a fifth COVID-19 wave could no longer be stopped amid the spread of Omicron.

Meanwhile, the top infectious diseases expert in the United States warned that a new COVID-19 wave could strain hospital capacity.

“One thing that’s very clear … is (Omicron’s) extraordinary capability of spreading,” Fauci told broadcaster NBC News. “It is just… raging through the world.”

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