Alberta UCP MLAs Told Not To Travel Internationally During Vacation Amid COVID-19 Uncertainty | The Canadian News

Alberta UCP MLAs have been told not to travel internationally during the holidays.

In a memorandum to the government caucus MLAs dated December 16, the head of government, Whitney Issik, said: “I am indicating that members of the government caucus will not be allowed to travel internationally at this time.”

The guidance came after the federal government announced Wednesday that Canadians, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status, should avoid all non-essential international travel amid a spike in Omicron cases.

“For those who were planning to travel, I tell you very clearly, now is not the time to travel,” said federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos.

“The rapid spread of the Omicron variant on a global scale makes us fear the worst for Canadians who may think about traveling. Canadians who travel could contract the virus or be stranded abroad. “

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Issik said that COVID-19 is unpredictable and that the travel directive will be in effect until further notice.

“I understand that this directive may affect family members and vacation plans, but we must show leadership as we learn more about the Omicron variant,” Issik said in the memo.

“At this time, interprovincial travel is allowed. If traveling to another province, all provincial guidelines in the travel jurisdiction must be followed. “

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Before the federal government’s announcement with official guidance on international travel on Wednesday, NDP leader Rachel Notley said she had already advised her group to cancel their international travel plans.

“In the last few days we have been watching what has been happening and I guess a day and a half ago we started to get the feeling that we were going to see more restrictions coming from the federal government, and quite possibly an announcement to go back to the old rules of no unnecessary travel, ”Notley said Wednesday morning.

“That is the advice and direction that I just gave our caucus. So we have several members of the caucus that are canceling their travel plans.

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“We have already advised them to do so. We sincerely believe that it is very likely to happen. And frankly, if they do it now, they are less likely to spend time in a queue and more likely to get their money back. We think it’s prudent to go ahead with that now. “

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Some Canadian travelers say advisory came on very little notice'

COVID-19: Some Canadian travelers say the advisory came on very little notice

COVID-19: Some Canadian travelers say the advisory came on very little notice

As of Thursday afternoon, Alberta had detected 119 cases of the worrisome variant Omicron, an increase from 60 cases of the variant the day before.

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COVID-19: Number of Omicron Cases in Alberta Rises from 60 to 119

Last year, several UCP MLAs and Alberta United Conservative Party staff members came under fire after it came to light that they had participated in non-essential international travel while on vacation. At the time, the federal government had urged against all non-essential travel out of the country.

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At the same time, the COVID-19 restrictions in place in Alberta meant that people could not gather indoors without people outside their homes, with few exceptions for those living alone.

Earlier Friday, the federal government also reintroduced the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival for all travelers departing from Canada, regardless of the length of travel.

Beginning December 21, all travelers entering Canada will be required to show proof of a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. This includes Canadians re-entering the country from trips abroad that lasted less than 72 hours, Duclos said.

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