Canada bans travel from seven African countries over new Covid strain


Canada travel restrictions update: Canada on Friday 26th November, 2021 banned foreign travelers from seven African countries over concerns about the spread of a new Covid strain. The seven African countries are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Canada travel restrictions update

Canadian Health Minister, Jean-Yves Duclos made the announcement, joining a step taken by several other countries, including the United States as well as the European Union, after the World Health Organisation declared the recently discovered B.1.1.529 strain of Covid-19 to be a “variant of concern,” renaming it Omicron.

He said: “We are acting quickly in order to protect the health and safety of Canadians,” Duclos told a news conference.

“We know very little about this variant right now,” said Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam, “including how transmissible it is and whether it increases the severity of illness or what the impact is on the vaccine.

“But because of so many mutations in specific areas of the genome, we’re taking this precautionary measure,”

she said.

There are no direct flights to Canada from the seven nations listed in the travel ban.

Canadian travellers arriving indirectly from the region will be required to obtain a pre-flight negative Covid test and quarantine for 14 days on arrival in the country.

The travel restrictions will be in place until January 31, while officials “assess the evolving situation,” said Canadian Transport Minister, Omar Alghabra.

According to Canadian government, COVID-19 testing and vaccine requirements, as well as other border measures, are an important part of Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and serve to protect the health and safety of all Canadians.

Effective November 30, 2021, Canada will expand the list of COVID-19 vaccines that travellers can receive to be considered fully vaccinated for the purpose of travel to Canada. The list will include Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN, matching the World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing.