Canada immigration news: Canada has banned travel from seven countries in southern African to try and stop the spread of a new COVID-19 variant.
A series of new measures were announced by Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos to be implemented from Friday, November 26.
The African countries are South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.
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All foreign nationals who have travelled through these countries in the last 14 days are barred from entering Canada.
Canadian citizens and permanent residents must get a PCR test before returning home. With no direct flights from the region, that test must come from the country they connect through.
After arrival in Canada, all travellers must get a test on arrival and wait for the result in a designated hotel. If the test is negative, they must then quarantine at home for 14 days. They must then take a day eight test,
Furthermore, anyone who has arrived from one of the countries in the last 14 days must get tested for COVID-19 immediately. They must then quarantine at home until they get their result.
Global Affairs Canada has also issued an advisory against travel to the seven countries.
“We really want to make sure we’re doing all we can to protect the health and safety of Canadians,” Duclos said.
Omicron: Variant of Concern
The World Health Organization (WHO) labelled Omicron a ‘variant of concern’ on Friday.
Despite the WHO advising against travels bans, they have been imposed by the UK, U.S., India, Japan, Israel and European Union.
South Africa and Botswana have both detected the variant, plus Israel, Belgium and Hong Kong.
Canada health chief Dr. Theresa Tam said the variant could be more transmissible.
She said: “One area of mutations is in the spike receptor-binding domain, where the virus attaches itself and invades our cells, which could signify a potential for increased transmissibility of the virus.
“The other area of mutations is in what is referred to as the antigenic supersite because it is a target for our body’s defensive or neutralizing antibodies.”