Canada bans travelers from southern Africa due to concerns over new COVID- 19 variant
OTTAWA, Nov 27, 2021 (BSS/XINHUA) - Canada announced on Friday banning the
entry of foreigners who have traveled through southern Africa in the last 14
days due to increasing concerns over a new variant of COVID-19.
The southern African countries include South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia,
Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said anyone who has traveled through
southern Africa in the last 14 days is being asked to quarantine now and to
go for a COVID-19 test.
Those individuals must remain in quarantine until they receive a negative
result, Duclos said at a press conference in Ottawa.
Canadians and permanent residents returning to Canada from the region
through another country must take a negative COVID-19 test in the third
country. They will also be tested upon arrival in Canada, Duclos said.
Duclos said Global Affairs Canada will also be issuing a travel advisory,
asking all Canadians not to travel to southern Africa.
According to Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam, there is no
indication of the variant's presence within Canada to date.
She told reporters that health officials are continuing to monitor the
The news came just after the World Health Organization (WHO) designated
B.1.1.529 a variant of concern, and named it "Omicron", which is believed to
have originated in South Africa.
The variant was first reported from South Africa on Nov. 24 and the variant
has a "large number of mutations," some of which "are concerning."
According to the WHO, the number of cases of this variant "appears to be
increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa."