Latest Travel Update: Today, Minister of Health – Hon’ble Duclos along with Minister Mendicino and Minister Alghabra announced 3 immediate measures in response to evolving COVID situation around the world because of Omicron. He said there has been lot in the news recently about COVID 19 and they would like to update Canadians on “what they are doing in response to Omicron.” Following 3 adjustments were made in addition to current border measures.
- Three more countries added to the recently announced border measures banning entry of foreign nationals into Canada from 7 countries. This increased the list of travel restricted countries to 10. New additions were Egypt, Malawi, and Nigeria. Previously restricted countries were South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Mozambique.
- Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents who have travelled or transited through these 10 countries will need to get negative COVID test from transiting country and then on-arrival COVID test even if they are fully vaccinated. Following on-arrival testing, they will need to self-isolate until they receive a negative COVID test.
- Air travelers from all the countries around the world, except the U.S., will have to undergo on-arrival COVID test even if they are fully vaccinated. Previously, on-arrival testing was random, but now it will be mandatory for all the travelers irrespective of their vaccination status. Following the on-arrival testing, travelers will have to self-isolate until they receive a negative COVID test.
Furthermore, ministers said they are having a meeting with provincial counterparts, 2 hours after the announcement to discuss if on-arrival testing can be implemented for land border and air travelers from U.S. as well.
Duclos said they will be reaching out to National Advisory Committee on Immunization to provide a quick guidance and update to revise national standard on the use of booster shot to deal with Omicron. He further added that these rules may change in coming days. Measures may become more stricter if Omicron’s effect is severe, while rules may be relaxed if new variant is not as concerning as experts are expecting. Transport Minister, Omar Alghabra advised that rules may further change any moment with changing epidemiology of COVID.
Kamal Deep Singh, RCIC (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant) licensed by CICC (formerly known as ICCRC) with member number R708618. He brings extensive knowledge of immigration law and new changes to rapidly evolving IRCC.