As the holiday season approaches, the rapidly expanding new Omicron variant across the planet is creating a lot of uncertainty for those hoping to finally enjoy Christmas with their families living abroad.
“I understand the health standards, but it will be four years before I see my family. It starts out very, very long. Some people are not in good health. I may never see them again, ”lamented Longueil Dolphin Vanhall on Sunday.
The 39-year-old woman, who is of Belgian origin and lives in Quebec with her spouse, hopes to return to her homeland to embrace viewers “every two years at most”.
His tour has been postponed to the summer of 2020. She lost her grandmother a few months ago.
“If it weren’t for the family, I wouldn’t be traveling. This is very worrying, “said the woman, who sighed over the phone.
Since Friday, several countries have announced that they are tightening health regulations due to a new variant of COVID-19, which is more contagious and possibly more resistant, which was first reported in South Africa.
Canada confirmed its first cases in Ottawa on Sunday, with two passengers from Nigeria.
Ottawa on Friday suspended entry to Canada for travelers from at least seven African countries until January 31.
“Helpless and frustrated”
This announcement creates a lot of uncertainty among those who think the holiday season is finally theirs.
Franకోois de Villiers, 36, of South Africa, had his plans thwarted when he closed the border between Canada and South Africa.
As soon as the visa was granted he spent several thousand dollars to bring his parents to Quebec whom he had not seen for three years.
“I think it is insane for the government to cut off its fingers and stop all countries from traveling. People have to be fully immunized and have negative tests for travel. It does not make sense and we feel helpless and helpless,” he explained.
– With AFP
⁇G7 health ministers, including Jean-Yves Duclos, will hold an urgent meeting in London on Monday to discuss the new Omicron variant.
According to experts, there is no need to panic and be more vigilant
Although a new Omicron variant was discovered in Ottawa on Sunday, experts here say we need to be vigilant not to close borders.
“If we postpone the action, it will allow us to postpone the date of free spread in this variant province. […]. I’m going to have a meaningful holiday, but it’s completely unpredictable, ”said Roxanne Borges da Silva, a professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Montreal.
On Sunday, Morocco, in particular, closed its borders completely for two weeks.
“For the Delta variant, whatever we wanted, it came,” explained Benoit Barbeau, a virologist and professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at UQAM on Sunday.
“People go through other countries. Must be able to achieve success [à isoler le Canada]It is necessary to have complete autonomy, “said Mrs. Borges da Silva.
The South African president on Sunday condemned these “discriminatory” border closures, which could prevent countries from reporting future discoveries of diversity, fearing they would be punished.
Therefore, by being vigilant and continuing to wear the mask properly we can control the spread of the variant, both experts believe.
“It reminds us that the epidemic is not over. There will be variants, and others,” Mr. Barbeau concluded.