Canada adds 3 countries to Omicron travel ban

OTTAWA – Canada is adding Nigeria, Malawi and Egypt to the list of African countries in which it is banning travelers amid concerns about the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The Star has confirmed the latest additions to the above list of seven countries from which travelers will not be admitted to Canada, which was announced on Friday. Other measures are expected to be announced at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

Canada extended its travel ban when the Netherlands acknowledged Tuesday that the Omicron variant appeared to have reached that country before it was identified in South Africa last week.

The federal cabinet approved the new steps at a meeting Tuesday morning, a source said.

Several other options were on the table, including a response to demands from Ontario and Quebec that Ottawa impose mandatory COVID-19 molecular testing for all travelers arriving at Canadian airports.

After a cabinet meeting, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos would only say that decisions will be announced later.

The Minister of Public Security, Marco Mendicino, also did not want to comment on the border measures.

Mendicino told reporters that “the best available scientific and medical evidence that is being presented to the government in real time” will inform its decisions.


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