Travel to Pearson Airport in Mississauga further restricted as 3 more countries are added

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Published November 30, 2021 at 5:09 pm

Ottawa is further restricting entry into Canada via Pearson Airport in Mississauga and other airports across the country after adding three more nations to the list of seven previously identified as areas of concern related to the newest COVID-19 variant. 

Egypt, Nigeria and Malawi were named today as additional countries the federal government will restrict travel from. They join South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique, which were identified on Friday. 

All foreign nationals who have travelled through any of those countries in the last two weeks will be banned from entering Canada. 

Additionally, the federal government announced this afternoon that, effective immediately, all travellers arriving at Pearson and other Canadian airports, except for those arriving from the U.S., must take a COVID-19 test before leaving the airport. 

That applies to all travellers, whether they’re fully vaccinated or not. And they’ll have to isolate while awaiting results.  

The additional measures were announced after the federal cabinet met behind closed doors this morning to talk about the evolving situation surrounding Omicron, the new potentially more transmissible variant of concern. 

The restrictions come after it was revealed late last week that Omicron, so named by the World Health Organization (WHO), had been identified in South Africa and surrounding nations.  

Since then, Omicron cases have been confirmed in other parts of the world, including now six in Canada. Public health officials note more cases will likely be confirmed here in the coming days and weeks. 

Ottawa said Canadians and permanent residents visiting any of the 10 countries will be allowed to return home, but they must get tested for the virus twice before doing so—once at a transit country other than any of the 10 identified as areas of concern and again once landing in Canada. 

Federal Transport Minister and Mississauga-Centre MP Omar Alghabra said at this afternoon’s press conference that the number one priority is the health and safety of Canadians. 

“Canadians need to remain cautious and prudent. The pandemic is not over,” said Alghabra, adding that Canadians travelling abroad should keep in mind that travel restrictions can change quickly and at any time. 

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