Canadian government advises citizens to avoid overseas travel due to Omicron threat

Update on international travel: Due to growing concerns over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the Canadian government on Wednesday urged citizens to avoid travel abroad during the Christmas holidays, saying the Omicron variant of Covid “makes us fear the worst”, including including the spike in infections and travel disruptions.Also Read – Ongoing Pakistan West Indies Tour Threatened After 3 Other Visiting Players, 2 Support Staff Test Positive

The travel advisory will be reassessed in four weeks, but public health restrictions could be imposed in the interim if the pandemic situation worsens, officials said at a press conference. Also Read – Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Bengal Report Early Omicron Cases; borders imposed in several cities | Key points

“Our government is officially advising Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada,” Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said at a press conference. Also read – Good news! Australia’s Qantas to open direct flights between Australia and Rome

“Those who are planning to travel, I say very clearly: now is not the time to travel. The rapid spread of the Covid variant globally makes us fear the worst, ”he said.

“Canadian travelers could contract the virus or find themselves stranded abroad. “

During an emergency meeting on Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau proposed to close the border, but the measure was categorically rejected by provincial leaders, a source told AFP.

Duclos said Covid testing of travelers at Canadian airports would be increased and other public health measures would be rolled out in the coming days.

“There will definitely be other public health measures (to come) as the situation will continue to evolve,” Duclos said.

“The epidemiological situation is changing rapidly. The information currently available suggests a significant resurgence of infections, even without taking into account the new Omicron variant, ”he said.

Earlier, Trudeau told reporters Canadians should “make prudent decisions when it comes to Christmas festivities.”

Around this time last year, all travelers arriving in Canada had to be quarantined for 14 days.

The World Health Organization on Tuesday warned that cases of Omicron variants were growing at breakneck speed and urged countries to take swift action to try to slow its spread.

As of Wednesday, there were 40,000 active cases of Covid in Canada and at least 4,500 new infections reported by public health authorities.

(With AFP inputs)