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The World Health Organization has urged countries not to impose flight bans on southern African nations due to concerns over the new omicron variant. WHO’s regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, called on countries to follow science and international health regulations in order to avoid using travel restrictions. WHO praised South Africa for following international health regulations and informing WHO as soon as its national laboratory identified the omicron variant. Cases of the omicron variant popped up in countries on opposite sides of the world Sunday and many governments rushed to close their borders. The U.S. plans to ban travel from South Africa and seven other southern African countries starting Monday.

AP

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is returning in full, after being crimped by the coronavirus pandemic last year. The lineup of balloons, floats, marching bands, clowns, performers and Santa Claus will once again wend though 2 1/2 miles of Manhattan streets Thursday. Participants were confined to one block or sometimes pre-taped last year. Spectators were shut out in 2020 but can line the route again this time. The Thanksgiving parade is the latest U.S. holiday event to make a comeback amid the ongoing pandemic. Still, some safety measures continue. Parade staffers and volunteers must be vaccinated against COVID-19, and most must wear masks.