This story was last updated at 4:15pm on December 15th.
aMany Canadian news outlets expected, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government today announced a new advisory for its citizens to avoid non-essential international travel in an effort to slow the spread of the omicron type of coronavirus.
More than one government official told CBC and Radio Canada that Trudeau and prime ministers from Canadian provinces had a call yesterday evening, during which they discussed returning to much stronger travel restrictions.
Among the proposals put forward in the call were a new ban on all non-essential foreign travelers to Canada, including those from the United States, and stricter quarantine and testing measures for travelers allowed to enter Canada, including returning Canadians and permanent residents. But no decision was reached at the time, according to those reports.
At least, Trudeau was expected to advise Canadians not to travel outside the country, according to a Reuters report citing a source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Canada’s border with the United States reopened in August to fully vaccinated US citizens and permanent residents, after being closed for more than 16 months to non-essential travel during the pandemic.
To enter Canada, all travelers must use the government’s “Passport Vaccine” app ArriveCAN, which allows travelers to upload passport information as well as Covid-19 vaccination records and PCR test results.
“We are in the midst of a global wave of a variant that has turned out to be highly contagious and highly contagious,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland told CBC. power politics yesterday. We have a chance to keep this under control. But we can only do that if we all actually act, and the federal government is committed to doing its part.”
Earlier today, Trudeau told reporters that Canadians “must be vigilant and make careful decisions about Christmas,” CBC reported.
At a news briefing Wednesday afternoon, the government did not announce the travel ban but instead issued an official warning to Canadians to cancel any incoming trips abroad.
“To those who were planning to travel, I say very clearly, now is not the time to travel,” Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said at the press conference. “The rapid spread of the omicron variant on a global scale makes us fear the worst.”
While Canadian officials have left the door open for more restrictions in the future, the border between the United States and Canada remains open. Passengers can fully vaccinate Enter, provided the Covid-19 test comes back negative within 72 hours of entry.