Those who want to travel internationally on vacation should reconsider their plans as the Omicron variant risks disrupting their stay, the federal government warns, with the latest data available suggesting that fewer travelers are bringing the virus home than ever before. .
“For people who want to travel, I say very clearly: this is not the time to travel,” Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos told a news conference Wednesday.
The minister, guided by “caution”, suggested that in the event that the transmission of the Omicron variant internationally “makes him scare the worst”, this recommendation should be made with concern to passengers.
The notice, although optional, may “feel harsh” to passengers, Mr. Duclos believes. This should be understood as a warning that if the global health situation deteriorates, the federal government will not come to their aid. Passengers may fall ill in another country, Jean-Yves Duclos warns, or may be stranded abroad after the cancellation of flights or due to new measures imposed at the borders.
“Quebec once left the Canadian country […], The Canadian government could do very little to help. […] We are concerned about the future of Canadians abroad and that indicates the additional measures we need to take. “
The Government of Canada website has been updated during the day to urge citizens to “avoid all unnecessary travel abroad, regardless of their immune status”. Recommendations do not change for foreigners who want to visit the country.
Lower border cases
Federal ministers did not discuss the specific health risks posed by international travel to Canada on Wednesday, preferring to emphasize the risks to travelers.
In fact, according to compiled federal data, as vaccination rates rise, fewer travelers are bringing the virus home. Destiny. In the first months of 2021, between 1.4% and 2.1% of Kovid-19 tests conducted at airports on passenger arrivals came back positive; These rates are now almost ten times lower because a large number of passengers are vaccinated.
As of August 9, only 0.14% of arrivals with fully vaccinated passengers returned positive, according to the latest available data not available for the month of December. Of the airline passengers who arrived between mid-September and mid-November, nearly 89% were fully vaccinated. From November 30, Only vaccinated individuals Allowed to board the aircraft against COVID-19.
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr.Back Theresa Tom, admittedly “virus” [sous forme du variant Omicron] It is in our communities and most of the public health resources should be dedicated to this ”.
The government science adviser also politely criticized the management of the list of ten African countries, which should not contain any foreign national within 14 days prior to entering Canada. “I believe this policy needs to be reconsidered,” she said. The Omicron variant is now widespread Worldwide.
According to Theresa Tom, the federal recommendation to abandon all travel plans is just a “layer of protection” and, among many others, authorities should instead be concerned about transmissions within borders. Canadian.
All airline passengers must have a negative PCR test result within three days of returning home. From January 2021. From February, they had to take a second test when they arrived in Canada. After August 9thHowever, only randomly selected vaccinated individuals should undergo this second screening upon arrival. It’s Became mandatory again , 1Is December for all non-travelers from the United States.
Omicron is already here
Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, Especially those who came up with the federal opinion to screw up travel plans said Tuesday to understand “how boring it really is”. “But the fact is that the omicron variant is already here,” he added. And border measures are not all. “
“There are always exceptional cases, there are always families who have to look after each other, there is always a need for compassion. Because of the circumstances, it is very difficult to limit travel further,” he ruled.
“We strongly recommend not to travel [et] Imposing additional screening measures at airports will do our part to work across borders and release resources to support provinces in the fight against community transmission, which is now a big risk, ”Justin Trudeau concluded.