"To prevent new variants of the COVID-19 virus from being introduced and spread."
Omicron is the latest COVID-19 virus variant causing concern — and it could also impact your travel plans. On November 26, the federal government announced new travel restrictions for people who have visited certain countries that will be in effect until January 31, 2022.
Non-Canadian travellers who have been to southern Africa — specifically, South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, or Namibia — in the last 14 days are no longer allowed to enter the country.
Nous prenons des mesures concr\u00e8tes concernant le nouveau variant en Afrique du Sud. 1/2— Omar Alghabra (@Omar Alghabra) 1637952051
Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have been to these countries in the past 14 days will "be subject to enhanced testing, screening, and quarantine measures."
Regardless of vaccination status, these individuals will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test taken in a third country within 72 hours of departure before they can continue their journey to Canada.
Upon arrival, these travellers will have to take another PCR test and quarantine for 14 days, regardless of vaccination status or test results. They will then be retested on their eighth day in Canada.
It should be noted that there are currently no more direct flights between Canada and southern African countries.
"Today's measures, including new requirements for third-country pre-departure testing for travellers coming to Canada from certain southern African countries, are being put in place to prevent new variants of the COVID-19 virus from being introduced and spread in Canada," said Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra in a statement.
The Government of Canada is asking Canadians to avoid travelling to southern Africa.
The European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom have imposed similar restrictions to limit the spread of the new variant, according to a Health Canada press release.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.
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