Right this moment the federal government of Canada issued a journey advisory saying that Canadians ought to keep away from all nonessential worldwide journey due to the fast unfold of the Omicron variant. The present advisory will final for at the very least 4 weeks however may very well be prolonged. The reinstatement of the warning in opposition to international journey comes lower than two months after the federal government had lifted its authentic advisory in opposition to nonessential journey, which had been in place since March 2020. (Canada has additionally lately introduced strict journey bans on some international locations following the fast unfold of the variant.)
“We see the scenario overseas, and we’re afraid and anxious with what might occur to Canadians who would select to go overseas within the subsequent few weeks,” mentioned Well being Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, throughout a information briefing. “To those that had been planning to journey, I say very clearly, now just isn’t the time to journey.”
“The fast unfold of the Omicron variant on a world scale makes us worry the worst for Canadians that will consider travelling. Travelling Canadians might contract the virus, or get stranded overseas,” Duclos mentioned.
“The scenario overseas is already dire in lots of locations, and it will worsen in a short time. So we’re afraid for what might occur to them in the event that they selected to journey. And as soon as they’ve left Canada, there may be little or no we are able to do to assist them,” he mentioned.
Whereas Canadian authorities officers have hinted that different journey restrictions could also be introduced quickly, the border between the U.S. and Canada will stay open. Moreover, the current rule change to permit people who find themselves absolutely vaccinated and touring by land to not present a damaging Covid-19 take a look at for journeys which are lower than 72 hours will stay in place in the intervening time.
The federal government issued a press release stating the explanations for its resolution for advising in opposition to worldwide journey. “On November twenty sixth, 2021, a brand new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19, Omicron, was designated a variant of concern (VOC) by the World Well being Group. The Omicron variant is current in all continents, with group transmission of this VOC reported in some international locations. This variant has numerous regarding mutations, with preliminary proof suggesting a progress benefit over the Delta VOC and a possible lower in vaccine safety in opposition to an infection. The Authorities of Canada is intently monitoring the scenario and dealing with its worldwide companions together with the World Well being Group to higher perceive this variant and its impacts.
Many international governments are implementing strict journey restrictions attributable to unfold of the Omicron variant and worldwide transportation choices could also be restricted. In consequence, you could have problem returning to Canada, or might have to stay overseas for an indeterminate interval.
Native authorities overseas might impose management measures all of a sudden, together with motion restrictions resembling lockdowns. In some international locations, you could have restricted entry to well timed and applicable well being care must you grow to be unwell.”
The discharge goes on to notice that if Canadians should journey internationally, that they need to monitor and evaluation Canada’s entry requirements earlier than and through their journey as “arrival to Canada following worldwide journey may very well be severely restricted as a result of unfold of the Omicron variant.” Moreover, all eligible travellers must be vaccinated at the very least 14 days earlier than travelling.
This launch emphasizes that authorities advisories will proceed to be re-evaluated based mostly on the evolving scenario in Canada and in different international locations.