Canada implements new travel ban on travellers coming from Africa
Canada has announced a sweeping ban on travellers who have been in seven countries in southern Africa in the last 14 days, as the nation braces for the arrival of the menacing new B.1.1.529 variant Omicron COVID-19 variant.
The temporary ban was announced Friday afternoon by Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, which imposes five measures to help slow or stop the arrival of the new variant in Canada.
Any foreign national who has travelled through South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini in the past two weeks will not be permitted into the country at all.
Citizens who have passed through these countries will be allowed to return. However, they'll have to undergo testing for the virus and face quarantine.
The measures also mean anyone who has already arrived in Canada from the affected countries in the last two weeks will have to stay in isolation until they can be tested for the virus.
Designated a variant of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday afternoon, Omicron has been detected in South Africa and neighbouring Botswana. But it appears to be spreading internationally, with reports in Belgium, Hong Kong, and Israel.
It's a particularly nasty variant, the WHO citing "a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning," continuing to say that "the number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa."
This new variant, combined with waning immunity as many await booster eligibility and coming holiday get-togethers, is sparking fears of a fifth wave landing in Ontario soon.
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