Ten countries are now on the travel ban list by the federal government of Canada amid growing concerns over the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant.

According to a press release from the federal Minister of Health, "Effective immediately, foreign nationals who have been in any of these countries within the previous 14 days will not be permitted entry into Canada:

  • Botswana
  • Egypt
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe

The press release goes on the state that, "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."

Unvaccinated travellers, with the right of entry to Canada, will continue to 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.

"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," said Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos. "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 the 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 Government of Canada will continue to assess the evolving situation, monitor case data, and adjust border measures as required. The Government of Canada is working collaboratively with its provincial and territorial counterparts. While the impact of all variants continues to be monitored in Canada, vaccination in combination with public health and individual measures, is working to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.

Canada's Minister of Public Safety, Marco Mendicino, said that while Canadians may be concerned about the most recent variant, they can be assured that the government will continue to enforce stringent measures at our borders to protect Canadians from COVID-19.

Information provided by Discover Airdrie