Citizens in Canada have been advised by their government to avoid foreign travel over the Christmas holidays, saying the Omicron variant of Covid “makes us fear the worst,” including soaring infections and travel disruptions.
If the cases keep rising, public health restrictions will be imposed soon, while the travel advisory will be re-evaluated in four weeks. Covid testing of travellers at Canadian airports will be increased. Last year during the year-end holiday season, all arriving travellers to Canada were required to quarantine for 14 days.
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos told a news conference that now is not the time to travel because the rapid spread of the Covid variant on the global scale is making the government apprehensive. Mr Duclos also said that the information currently available suggests a significant resurgence of infections, even without taking into account the new Omicron variant.
Earlier at an emergency meeting, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had proposed closing the border, but the measure was roundly rejected by provincial leaders.
The World Health Organization has also warned countries about the rapid spread of the variant, asking them to try to impose measures to slow its spread.