On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization classified B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern called Omicron. Since then it has been found in a number of countries and regions, including the confirmation of several travel-related cases in Canada.
Effective December 01, 2021, foreign nationals who have been in any of the following countries within the previous 14 days will not be permitted entry into Canada:
- South Africa; and
Foreign Nationals will not be allowed to enter if they have travelled to the above countries over the last 14 days.
Canadian citizens, permanent residents and people with status under the Indian Act, regardless of their vaccination status or having had a previous history of testing positive for COVID-19, who have been in any of these 10 countries in the previous 14 days, will be subject to enhanced pre-entry and arrival testing, screening, and quarantine measures.
Fully vaccinated travellers arriving by air other than the United States will be required to quarantine while they await the results of their arrival test.
Unvaccinated travellers, who are allowed i.e. Canadian citizens, permanent residents and people with status under the Indian Act, will be tested on arrival and day 8 and quarantine for 14 days. However, those arriving by air will now be required to stay in a designated quarantine facility or other suitable location while they await the result of their on arrival test.
“Our government continues to take unprecedented and swift action to protect the health and safety of Canadians as we introduce new robust, science-based measures to prevent COVID-19 variants of concern from being spread in Canada. The new requirements announced today are another layer of protection to to safeguard Canadians’ health.”
The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport
“We are taking quick action at our borders to mitigate travel related importations of the Omicron variant. While our monitoring systems are working well, we now know that the Omicron variant is present in Canada. We need to remain vigilant in our own actions. Vaccination and simple public health measures such as masking and limiting the number of persons we interact with slow down transmission, reduce hospitalization and death, and protect our health systems from being overwhelmed. We must all continue to do our part to protect all people in Canada.”
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
“While Canadians may be concerned about the most recent variant, be assured we will continue to enforce stringent measures at our borders to protect Canadians from COVID-19. Canada Border Services Agency officers will apply all measures deemed necessary to comply with entry requirements. I ask all Canadians to be patient as they wait to cross the border and check to ensure you have complied with all entry requirements before arriving at the Canadian border.”
The Honourable Marco Mendicino
Minister of Public Safety
The government has also stated, that rules can rapidly change and adjust when more information about the Omicron virus is available. Full details of the release can be found here.
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