Canadians urged not to travel abroad over Omicron

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A baby hugs his mom as he waits for his dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in Montreal, Quebec. AFP 
  • Because the Omicron variant spreads internationally, Canada dissuades residents to keep away from travels over Christmas. 
  • The federal government will re-evaluate the journey advisory in 4 weeks. 
  • The well being minister stated a number of different public well being measures can be rolled out because the scenario develops.

OTTAWA: The Canadian authorities on Wednesday urged residents to keep away from overseas journey over the Christmas holidays, saying the Omicron variant of Covid “makes us concern the worst,” together with hovering infections and journey disruptions.

The journey advisory shall be re-evaluated in 4 weeks, however public well being restrictions might be imposed within the interim if the pandemic scenario worsens, officers advised a information convention.

“Our authorities is formally advising Canadians to keep away from non-essential journey outdoors Canada,” Well being Minister Jean-Yves Duclos advised a information convention.

“Those that are planning to journey, I say very clearly: Now is just not the time to journey. The fast unfold of the Covid variant on the worldwide scale makes us concern the worst,” he stated.

“Travelling Canadians might contract the virus or get stranded overseas.”

At an emergency assembly late Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had proposed closing the border, however the measure was roundly rejected by provincial leaders, a supply advised AFP.

Duclos stated Covid testing of travellers at Canadian airports can be elevated and different public well being measures can be rolled out within the coming days.

“There will definitely be different public well being measures (coming), as a result of the scenario will proceed to evolve,” Duclos stated.

“The epidemiological scenario is altering quickly. The knowledge at present obtainable suggests a major resurgence of infections, even with out bearing in mind the brand new Omicron variant,” he stated.

Earlier, Trudeau advised reporters that Canadians ought to “take cautious choices with regard to Christmas festivities.”

Final yr round this time, all arriving travellers to Canada had been required to quarantine for 14 days.

The World Well being Group warned Tuesday that Omicron variant instances had been multiplying at breakneck speeds and urged fast actions by nations to attempt to sluggish its unfold.

As of Wednesday, there have been 40,000 lively Covid instances in Canada, and at the very least 4,500 new infections reported by public well being authorities.