Canada Is Introducing New Travel Restrictions Because Of A Recently Discovered COVID-19 Variant
There are new rules for travellers now that the Omicron variant has been found in Africa.
There has been a major update to Canada's travel restrictions that bans entry to some foreign nationals, mandates quarantine for travellers and requires testing.
On November 26, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced the new restrictions and said they are being introduced because a "new, faster-spreading variant of concern has been detected in southern Africa."
The federal government is banning the entry of foreign nationals into Canada that have travelled through seven countries in southern Africa in the last 14 days. The countries are South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini.
"For now, it is just these seven countries but we will constantly reevaluate and assess the list of those countries," Alghabra said.
People who arrived in Canada from the seven countries in the last 14 days are being asked to quarantine right now and go get tested. They are also being told to stay in isolation until they get a negative test result.
Travellers flying indirectly from the southern African countries will need a negative pre-departure test before coming to Canada that's taken in the last transit country before their arrival in Canada.
Canadians and permanent residents who have travelled to any of the seven countries within 14 days must have proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test taken within 72 hours of their departure to Canada.
Upon entry, those people will have to wait in an approved hotel until the result of their day one test comes in and if it's negative, they will then be required to quarantine at home until their day eight test comes back negative.
Then on November 30, the federal government announced more travel measures related to the Omicron variant.
Three countries — Nigeria, Malawi and Egypt — were added to the list of affected nations which now brings the total to 10.
Also, there are additional restrictions that require testing and quarantine for even more travellers regardless of their vaccination status and the country they're travelling from.
This comes into effect immediately and will stay in place until January 31, 2022.
Global Affairs Canada is also issuing a travel advisory asking all Canadians not to travel to southern Africa for the time being.
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