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Canada advising against non-essential travel as Omicron spreads worldwide


The federal government is once again warning Canadians against non-essential travel abroad as the Omicron variant continues to quickly spread worldwide.


The federal government is once again warning Canadians against non-essential travel abroad as the Omicron variant continues to quickly spread worldwide.


“To those who were planning to travel, I say very clearly, now is not the time to travel,” said Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos.


“The rapid spread of the Omicron variant on a global scale makes us fear the worst for Canadians that may think of travelling. Travelling Canadians could contract the virus, or get stranded abroad.”


Cases of the highly contagious Omicron variant are climbing around the world, particularly in the United Kingdom and Denmark – both of which have highly vaccinated populations akin to Canada’s.


However, the variant contains dozens of mutations including some which preliminary studies have suggested can make COVID-19 vaccines less effective in preventing infections.


However, the variant contains dozens of mutations including some which preliminary studies have suggested can make COVID-19 vaccines less effective in preventing infections.


Evidence is still emerging about the full extent of the variant’s capabilities though, and leaders are facing growing calls to ramp up access to booster shots for their populations in order to fight any waning of immunity gained from vaccination campaigns over the summer.


How fast Omicron can spread is still being studied, but Canadians officials have projected that if it replaces Delta as the dominant strain in the country, daily infections could hit 26,600 a day nationally by mid-January.


“We are asking Canadians to be cautious heading into the holiday season,” said Dominic LeBlanc, minister of intergovernmental affairs, infrastructure and communities.


“If you do not have to travel internationally, please do not.”


If you must travel, the government advises travellers to check Canada’s entry requirements and to pay close attention to the COVID-19 situation at both home and abroad.


“The COVID-19 situation can change rapidly and can vary a lot from one country to another, even within regions of a country,” the official advisory reads in part.


“This advice provided by the Government of Canada will continue to be re-evaluated based on the evolving situation in Canada and in other countries.”




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