Government of Canada announces additional measures to contain the spread of the Omicron variant
OTTAWA, ON, December 17, 2021 / CNW / – In response to the significant risks and uncertainties posed by the spread of the Omicron variant in Canada and globally today the Minister of Health, the Honorable Jean-Yves Duclos announced further adjustments to travel and border measures. These measures, guided by caution, are aimed at reducing the transmission of the Omicron variant in Canada and help provinces and territories slow community spread.
Lifting of access bans
With the evolving situation and the overwhelming evidence of community transmission of Omicron in most countries of the world, including Canada, the government of Canada decided to lift the extraordinary measures for travelers returning from the ten specific countries initially listed. This will be in effect from December 18 at 11:59 p.m..
While we recognize the controversial nature of this measure, we believe it was necessary to slow down the arrival of Omicron in Canada and save us time. In view of the current situation, this measure has achieved its objective and is no longer necessary.
Likewise, the requirements for Canadians and other persons with a right of entry who have stayed in or traveled from these countries within 14 days to obtain a valid negative molecular test before departure to a third country and to remain in a designated quarantine facility, under the direction of a quarantine officer, pending the results of their arrival test, will also be lifted.
Waiver of the pre-arrival test exemption for short trips
As an added precaution, we will reinstate the requirement of a negative pre-arrival PCR test for all travelers leaving the country for less than 72 hours. From December 21, the requirement for pre-arrival testing will again be in place for trips of all durations. It is important to note that this pre-arrival test MUST be taken in a country other than Canada.
We have also dramatically increased on-arrival testing resources. We went from a capacity to test 11,000 air travelers per day on November 30 to 20,960 tests as of December 16. The government of Canada works closely with airport authorities, airlines, test providers and many other partners to increase airport capacity, manage the flow of travelers and ensure the testing protocol is as efficient as possible.
From December 15, the government of Canada advises Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada right now. Travel restrictions continue to change around the world and return options may be limited at any time. Now is not the time to travel.
If required to travel, all fully vaccinated travelers are advised to follow public health measures including wearing a properly fitted and constructed mask, maintaining a contact list for 14 days after entry in Canada, and taking extra precautions by avoiding high-risk environments such as long-term care facilities. All unvaccinated returning travelers must continue to be quarantined for 14 days.
All arriving travelers, by all modes of travel, must submit their information in ArriveCAN. To reduce waiting time to access a test and relieve congestion at airports, travelers are allowed to enter Canada are strongly encouraged to pre-register with the testing provider at their arrival airport before coming to Canada.
The government of Canada recognizes that changing border measures can pose challenges for individuals and families. All border measures will continue to be assessed and are subject to adjustments based on the latest science, evidence and data.
“There’s still a lot we don’t know about the Omicron variant, but we do know it’s spreading quickly. Because we can never be too vigilant when it comes to the safety and health of Canadians, we are updating our travel and border measures and are also working hand-in-hand with provinces and territories to help slow the spread. of the variant in communities across the country. “
The Honorable Jean-Yves Duclos
“The government of Canada continues to take rapid, science-based action to protect the health and safety of Canadians throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We must all work together to contain the spread of COVID-19 and this Omicron variant by following public health advice and getting vaccinated. We will not hesitate to put measures in place, as necessary, to ensure the safety of travelers and transport workers. “
The Honorable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport
“As we monitor the public health situation in Canada and everywhere in the world, we must redouble our efforts to ensure our safety and that of our loved ones. We will continue to take appropriate public health action not only at our border, but within our country and our communities. Keeping Canadians safe remains our top priority. “
The Honorable Marco Mendicino
Minister of Public Security
- Canadians living in British Columbia may benefit from certain exemptions at the border and for travel to Canada-American border, with the aim of supporting people affected by flooding in the region.
- If Canadians must travel, they should expect delays, which are likely to worsen during the holiday season. Restrictions change quickly and can be imposed by countries with little warning. Should Canadians Choose to Travel Outside Canada, they must recognize that travel plans can be seriously disrupted and they may be forced to stay out of Canada longer than expected. Canadians should not depend on the government of Canada for assistance with changes in travel plans.
- ArriveCAN remains mandatory for all travelers, regardless of whether they entered by land / air / sea or the length of time they were absent. Canada. All travelers must submit their mandatory information in ArriveCAN (free mobile app or website), including proof of vaccination in English or French and a quarantine plan before arrive in Canada.
SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada
For further information: Marie-France Proulx, Office of the Honorable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Allison St-Jean, Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary, Office of the Honorable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, [email protected]; Craig MacBride, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, 343-550-0626, [email protected]; Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, 613-957-2983, [email protected] ; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055, [email protected]; Media Relations, Public Safety Canada, 613-991-0657, [email protected]