Canada bars travellers from Egypt, 9 other countries over Omicron fears

Ahram Online , Wednesday 1 Dec 2021

Canada announced on Tuesday that it is barring entry for travellers arriving from Egypt, Malawi and Nigeria, bringing the total to 10 African countries.

Travellers queue at a check-in counter at Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) on October 3 2021. (AFP)

The travel restrictions are part of Canada’s attempts to prevent the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant after detecting five cases of the Omicron variant in the country.

"Foreign nationals who have transited or stayed in these 10 countries cannot enter Canada if they have been in those countries in the last two weeks," Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos told a press conference reported by the AFP.

Canada is the first country to block Egyptian flights after Cairo’s official confirmation on Tuesday that no cases of the new variant have been detected in the country. However, passengers travelling from Egypt must be quarantined upon arrival to Qatar and Switzerland.

Duclos also said that all air travellers arriving from outside Canada, with the exception of the US, will now need to be tested for COVID-19 at their point of entry, "whether they are vaccinated or unvaccinated," and that these travellers will need to isolate until their test results are available.

Earlier on Friday, Canada banned travellers from seven other countries – South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Eswatini.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for countries to keep calm and take "rational, proportional risk-reduction measures” in response to the new, fast-spreading variant.

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