The Canadian government is advising Canadians not to travel ahead of the holiday season.
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the advisory against international travel is going back in place. At a press conference alongside other federal ministers, Duclos also said the government will continue to increase testing capacity at ports of entry.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with premiers last night to discuss public health measures, including travel measures. CBC reports no decision was reached.
I just spoke with Premier @JJHorgan, as Chair of the Council of the Federation. We’re going to convene a meeting as soon as possible with the premiers to address Omicron and make sure we’re working together to keep you safe as we head into the holidays. We’ve got your back.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 14, 2021
On Tuesday, after the Cabinet meeting, federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos had already hinted that his government might reinstate a travel advisory like the one that was lifted on October 21, which urged travellers to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada.
“We are concerned that Canadians will be stranded abroad because of the rapidly evolving measures that other countries may put in place, and also because of the significant risk of catching this variant, this virus, while traveling abroad,” he reportedly said after the meeting.
Canada previously put increased restrictions on 10 African countries, among the first measures to combat the spread of the new variant. The affected nations include: Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Foreign nationals who have been to any of these countries within the past 14 days are not allowed to enter Canada.
Also, all travellers from countries other than the U.S. will need to complete an on-arrival COVID-19 test. They will then have to quarantine at home until they receive their results. If their test comes back negative, they can be released from quarantine. If it comes back positive, they must isolate for 10 days.
Canadian provinces have begun to tighten their measures in recent days. Ontario, announced on Tuesday a tightening of rules in long-term care homes. The same day, Quebec asked employers to reinstate remote work until further notice.
In Canada, the number of cases of COVID-19 is currently averaging at more than 4,000 per day, compared to 3,000 in recent weeks. The latest count of Omicron in Canada is up to 256 as of December 15. So far, all reported cases of Omicron in Canada have been asymptomatic or mild.
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