"The reality is that Omicron is here."
According to the prime minister, Canada's borders won't be closed because of the Omicron variant since it "wouldn't be effective" to do that now.
During an update about the COVID-19 situation in Canada on December 22, Justin Trudeau revealed that his government isn't thinking about shutting the borders right now to deal with the new variant.
"The reality is that Omicron is here," Trudeau said, speaking in French. "It's in our communities across the country."
He noted that closing the borders to travellers and stopping people from entering the country "wouldn't be effective" at this time to deal with Omicron.
"As we've seen in previous waves, cases arriving at the border represent a sliver of COVID-19 transmission," Trudeau said.
While the borders aren't closed to travellers, there are restrictions in place including the reintroduced rule that requires a negative pre-arrival PCR test for all travellers who leave the country on trips that are less than 72 hours long.
The pre-arrival test has to be taken in a country other than Canada.
However, on December 18, the federal government lifted the travel ban on 10 countries that barred travellers who had been in those countries in the 14 days prior to travel from entering Canada.
That restriction was introduced as a result of Omicron being discovered.
Currently, Canadians are being warned against non-essential travel outside of the country.
A notice from the government said that if people still choose to leave Canada despite the advisory, they could be "forced to remain outside of Canada longer than expected."
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