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Canada is adding countries to travel ban list in response to Omicron variant


The Canadian government announced this afternoon that several more countries have been added to the list of those currently subject to stricter border measures.

This is a developing story. CIC News will continue to update it once the Canadian government publishes official guidelines.

The countries added to the list are Nigeria, Egypt, and Malawi. As of today, foreign nationals who have travelled to these countries over the last 14 days will be forbidden from entering Canada. They join a list of seven southern African countries that had restrictive measures imposed on them this past Friday.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents that have been in any of these ten countries over the last 14 days will need to receive a negative PCR test before being allowed to travel to Canada. Upon arriving to Canada, they will face more testing and quarantine measures.

In addition, all air travellers (except those coming from the U.S.), irrespective of their Canadian immigration and vaccination status, will need to undergo testing at the airport in which they land in Canada. They will need to self isolate until a negative test has been confirmed. This is in addition to the PCR tests that they need to get within 72 hours of travel to Canada.

These new measures also apply to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, even those that are fully vaccinated. Canadian government ministers said during this afternoon’s press conference they will give further consideration to potentially adding these requirement to travellers entering Canada from the U.S. by air and/or land.

The stricter measures come after a new variant of COVID-19, Omicron, was discovered last week in South Africa and is causing concern around the world.

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On November 26, two days following the discovery of the new variant, the Canadian government announced that foreign nationals who travelled to South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Namibia, would not be allowed to enter Canada.

The World Health Organization describes the Omicron variant of the coronavirus as “very high risk” globally and the likelihood of it spreading around the world as significant.

It is currently unknown how contagious the variant is, how dangerous or whether or not it is resistant to vaccines.

To date, five cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant have been confirmed in Canada and several other possible cases are under investigation.

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