Canada expands travel ban, reintroduces arrival COVID-19 testing to combat Omicron


All air travellers entering Canada, except for those coming in from the United States, will now be required to do a COVID-19 test at the point of arrival and self-isolate till they get their results.

The federal government introduced several additional border measures this week “to mitigate travel-related importations” of the new omicron COVID-19 variant.

“We are announcing today that all air travellers coming from outside Canada, apart from the United States will now need to be tested at the airport in which they are landing in Canada, whether they are vaccinated or unvaccinated. They will then need to isolate themselves until they get the result of their test,” Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said Tuesday afternoon.

Unvaccinated travellers, with right of entry to Canada, will continue to be tested on arrival and day 8 as well as 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, said Federal officials.

Ottawa also expanded Canada’s travel restrictions. Foreign nationals who have been in Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and

Zimbabwe within the previous 14 days will not be permitted entry into Canada.

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.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the new requirements are another layer of protection to safeguard Canadians’ health.

Ottawa will continue to assess the evolving situation, monitor case data, and adjust border measures as required.

“While our monitoring systems are working well, we now know that the Omicron variant is present in Canada,” noted 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 slow down transmission, reduce hospitalization and death, and protect our health systems from being overwhelmed.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino also urged Canadians to be patient while they are being screened at the border. 

“I ask all Canadians to be patient as they wait to cross the border and check to ensure you have complied with all entry requirements before arriving at the Canadian border,” said Mendocino.

 “We must all continue to do our part to protect all people in Canada,” added Duclos.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here