North Carolina family stranded in Africa because of new omicron variant

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 3:05 PM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WRAL) – Travel restrictions related to the newly-named coronavirus omicron variant don’t currently apply to citizens in the United States, but many Americans are having trouble getting home anyway.

Lauren Kennedy-Brady and her family are holed up in Johannesburg, South Africa, after a safari vacation, hoping for a flight home to Raleigh.

“We have spent the last 48 hours booking and rebooking for flights that are continually getting canceled, or they are not letting us on because we do not have a European passport,” Kennedy-Brady said.

From Cape Town to Victoria Falls, their two-week vacation ended Friday, just as many countries started issuing travel bans because of the omicron variant.

“It’s really hard. The game keeps changing and we are just trying to keep a level head and trying to keep our patience intact,” Kennedy-Brady said, adding the airport is filled with frustrated passengers in the same situation.

Alan Campbell, a family member, says the U.S. embassies and consulates have provided very little information.

“This may be something that is just going to take time,” Campbell said.

The family’s trip got canceled twice because of COVID-19; now the virus is what’s keeping them there.

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