Canada will lift a ban on travelers from 10 African nations that was imposed last month as part of a campaign to fight the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said on Friday.
Duclos also told reporters that Canada would once again require people returning home after foreign trips of less than 72 hours to produce a negative test. Tour operators say the measure is onerous and deters travel.
COVID-19 case numbers are rapidly increasing in Canada and the federal government has implored residents to avoid international trips. read more
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Critics said the ban on people who had recently been to South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and seven other nations made no sense given the rapid spread of the variant.
“While we recognize the controversial nature of such a prohibition, we believe it was a necessary measure to slow the arrival of Omicron in Canada and buy us some time,” said Duclos.
“Given the current situation, this measure has served its purpose and is no longer needed.”