FILE – A COVID-19 rapid testing area is seen on the international arrivals level at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Friday, July 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

FILE – A COVID-19 rapid testing area is seen on the international arrivals level at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Friday, July 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Non-U.S. air travellers must take COVID test, isolate as feds try to slow Omicron spread

Nigeria, Malawi and Egypt have been added to the travel ban list

All air travellers, except those coming from the U.S., will be required to take a COVID-19 test and isolate until the results return as negative, federal ministers announced at a press conference Tuesday (Nov. 30).

“All air travellers coming from outside of Canada, apart from the United States, will now need to be tested at which they are landing in Canada,” Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said, adding that the rule applies to vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers.

“They will then need to isolate themselves until they get the result of their test.”

The measure is part of Canada’s attempt to slow the spread of the new Omicron variant into the country, although Ontario, B.C. and Alberta have already reported cases linked to travel.

Unvaccinated individuals entering Canada – such as citizens and permanent residents – will need to isolate for 14 days automatically and take tests upon arrival and on day eight, Duclos added.

He said that the testing measure for air travellers could be extended to those arriving by land or air from the U.S.

“We will be working with provinces and territories to see how that could be done. We don’t know if it would need to be done but whether it could be done if the situation evolves and requires such a policy to be implemented.”

The health minister also extended the travel ban targeting southern African countries to include three more countries: Nigeria, Malawi and Egypt.

More to come.


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