Canada issues level 3 advisory: Avoid non-essential travel

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The Public Health Agency of Canada is advising travellers, regardless of their vaccination status, to avoid non-essential travel internationally.

OTTAWA, Canada – On November 26, 2021, a new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, Omicron, was designated a variant of concern (VOC) by the World Health Organization.

The Omicron variant is present in all continents, with community transmission of this VOC reported in some countries. This variant has a large number of concerning mutations, with preliminary evidence suggesting a growth advantage over the Delta VOC and a potential decrease in vaccine protection against infection. The government of Canada is closely monitoring the situation and working with its international partners including the World Health Organization to better understand this variant and its impacts.

Many foreign governments are implementing strict travel restrictions due to spread of the Omicron variant and international transportation options may be limited. As a result, you may have difficulty returning to Canada, or may have to remain abroad for an indeterminate period.

Local authorities abroad may impose control measures suddenly, including movement restrictions such as lockdowns. In some countries, you may have limited access to timely and appropriate health care should you become ill.

If you must travel

Monitor and review Canada’s entry requirements before and during your travel as arrival to Canada following international travel could be severely restricted due to the spread of the Omicron variant.

All eligible travellers should complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada at least 14 days before travelling.

  • Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 when travelling internationally and is at greater risk for severe disease.

Read more: Avoid non-essential travel and https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices/226 

– Released: December 15, 2021

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