air international travel Canada ban omicron

Canada advises against international travel to reduce the spread of Omicron

The advisory against non-essential travel is back in effect.

The federal government has announced that it is advising against international travel as the fight against the Omicron variant in Canada ramps up. The international travel advisory, first imposed in March 2020, was lifted in October. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed that, starting on Dec. 21, people returning to Canada must show a negative PCR test result that was from a test taken outside of Canada.

Canada advises against international travel to reduce the spread of Omicron

The travel advisory follows an emergency first ministers meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Canadian premiers on Dec. 14, when there were already suggestions from government sources that an advisory against non-essential travel was imminent.

Deputy Premier Chrystia Freeland said that the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program announced alongside the Hardest Hit Business Recovery Program in October will allow the most affected industries to make use of the wage subsidies and rent subsidies up to 75%. The program was then priced at $7.4-billion, but that amount is now being increased significantly.

“Given the growing threat of Omicron, we have decided to earmark $4.5-billion more for those programs as well as some other measures that are needed to control the virus.”

—Chrystia Freeland

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said that an additional 35 million rapid tests are being delivered to the provinces and territories, on top of the 95 million already supplied, and hundreds of millions more are coming. There are currently 16 million booster doses in stock across the country and many more will be arriving in the next few weeks, Duclos said.

This article was originally published on Dec. 15, and updated on Dec. 18, 2021.

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