Canada’s Omicron travel ban disrupts residents going home

FILE PHOTO: Passengers wait for flight confirmation outside the Swissport Ticketing counter as several airlines stop flying out of South Africa, amid the spread of the new Omicron variant SARS-CoV-2, at the National Airport OR Tambo, in Joha
FILE PHOTO: Passengers wait for flight confirmation outside the Swissport Ticketing counter as several airlines stop flying out of South Africa, amid the spread of the new Omicron variant SARS-CoV-2, at the National Airport OR Tambo Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, November 28, 2021. REUTERS / Sumaya Hisham / File photo

December 8, 2021

By Anna Mehler Paperny and Allison Lampert

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s ban on travelers from South African countries and its refusal to recognize their PCR tests, aimed at preventing the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, is a setback for Canadians return home and increase international pressure to reverse the measures.

Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries have enacted travel bans specifically for Africa even as Omicron has been detected in more than 50 countries around the world.

Few countries have adopted Omicron restrictions similar to Canada’s requirement that travelers from 10 South African countries be subjected to a third-country PCR test before arriving in Canada.

In the face of complaints from tourism and accusations that the measures are punitive and lacking in evidence, Canada is under pressure to reverse the measures.

The head of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called the actions against the southern African countries “disappointing” and “disappointing” in a tweet on Sunday.

Two UN agencies on Tuesday begged the bans to be imposed only as a last resort in response to new variants.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease official, said he hoped the US would lift its ban on visitors from South African countries within a “reasonable amount of time”.

Canada’s ban caught visitors, including the teenage girls’ hockey team, off guard. Some complain about mixed messages from government agencies.

Richard Saunders, a Canadian politics professor who has done fieldwork in Zimbabwe and South Africa, returned home desperate last week.

The Canadian High Commission recommended that he fly to Addis Ababa and get a COVID-19 test there despite Canada advising its citizens not to go to Ethiopia because of the armed conflict.

Finally, when Canada implemented a limited-time waiver for some Lufthansa Airways flights via Frankfurt, Saunders nearly missed the news when messages from Canadian authorities landed in his spam folder.

“I have worked in southern Africa for 40 years and the damage this has done to Canada’s reputation as a fair player, as a fair trader, is truly substantial,” Saunders said as he waited. Waiting for the results of my latest COVID-19 test from the hotel. quarantine near Toronto airport.

It was not yet clear on Tuesday what would happen to Canadians trying to leave South Africa after December 13, the end date of Canada’s Lufthansa immunity.

A spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada said Canadians should email them. There are over 1,800 Canadians registered with Global Affairs in South Africa but registration is voluntary. It is unclear how many people want to leave the country.

Global Affairs was not immediately available for comment when asked about the impact of these measures on Canada’s reputation.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos told reporters on Tuesday: “The health rationale is the rationale that has been evaluated and recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada, experts. He won’t explain their reasoning.

The agency did not respond on Tuesday or Wednesday when asked to provide country-specific COVID-19 travel advice it has provided to the government.

Prabhat Jha, epidemiologist and public health expert at the Center for Global Health Research at St. Michael in Toronto, said global health experts criticize Canada for hoarding vaccines when poorer countries lack them.

“This just makes it worse,” he said, adding that he has South African colleagues who are now questioning whether they should collaborate and share data with Canada.

“It’s theater, not science. … It hurts in the medium and long term. ”

(Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

https://www.oann.com/canadas-omicron-travel-ban-disrupts-residents-heading-home/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=canadas-omicron-travel-ban-disrupts-residents-heading-home Canada’s Omicron travel ban disrupts residents going home

DUSTIN JONES

USTimeToday is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@ustimetoday.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button