Nov 26, 2021

By Christine Ross

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Canada has announced measures to take effect immediately to protect the country from a new COVID-19 variant first detected in southern Africa now called Omicron.

“So first, we are banning the entry of foreign nationals into Canada that have travelled through southern Africa in the last 14 days,” said Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos. “This includes seven different countries: South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Namibia and Eswatini.

In addition, anyone trying to come to Canada from those countries will have to get a negative PCR test before arriving. Canada’s top doctor also says provincial labs are looking for this new variant but there’s no indication of its presence in Canada yet.

There are five new measures in total including an advisory to discourage non-essential travel to South Africa and neighbouring countries.

The order is in place until the end of January.

Meantime, the World Health Organization says the variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning.

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