Canada imposing travel restrictions in wake of new COVID-19 variant
A Westjet plane lands at the Comox Valley Airport. (Vista Radio stock photo)
The latest COVID-19 variant has prompted Canada to impose a slew of strict travel restrictions on travellers from southern Africa.
First reported from South Africa on Wednesday, the strain now known as Omicron was declared a variant of concern on Friday and given its name.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says there are currently no direct flights from this region to Canada.
However, effective immediately, foreign nationals who travelled to any of the seven countries in the region over the last 14 days will be barred from entering Canada.
The new rules will apply until January 31st to Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland.
As for returning Canadians who travelled to the region in the last two weeks, Alghabra says they will be required to have proof of a negative pre-departure COVID-19 molecular test from the country they are in.
Upon entering Canada, they will have to stay at a government authorized hotel until their day 1 test comes up negative, at which point they will be required to quarantine until their day 10 test also comes negative.
The move came shortly after Ontario Premier Doug Ford called on the feds to do just that and avoid what happened with Alpha and Delta.