The Land of the Maple Leaf is lifting its ban on foreign travellers from South Africa and other African countries, but will reimpose testing requirements.
This comes after Canada, along with countries such as the United Kingdom, closed its borders to foreign travellers who had recently been to several Southern African nations in November to help stop the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
With Omicron now spreading within Canada, these restrictions are “no longer needed” as laboratory tests have confirmed nearly 350 cases of the Omicron variant across the country as of Friday, AFP reports.
In a news conference, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said that travel restrictions on flights from South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Nigeria, Malawi and Egypt will end at 04:59 GMT on Sunday.
“To those who were planning to travel, I say very clearly — now is not the time to travel. The rapid spread of the Omicron variant on a global scale makes us fear the worst,” Duclos said as he advised Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel outside the country for the time being.
Canada will re-introduce pre-arrival tests for all new incoming travellers, and a negative pre-arrival test will be required starting December 21, CIC News maintains.
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