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COVID-19 – Omicron: Canada issues warning to avoid non-essential travel

To the point In response to the spread of the Omicron variant - COVID-19, Canada announces the return of the non-essential travel advisory.

In light of the threat of the Omicron variant, Canada is recommending that Canadians avoid non-essential travel as of December 15, 2021. As of December 21, other changes will be in effect.

Summary of events

*** Update 17 December 2021: Added mandatory PCR testing for all and lifted entry ban for travelers from 10 African countries.

Currently, travellers (who have been to a country other than Canada and the United States in the last 14 days) are randomly selected for testing upon arrival at the airport.

These individuals must be kept in isolation until they receive a negative test result. They can use public transportation (such as a connecting flight) to get to their quarantine location.

The Government of Canada wants to eventually screen 100% of vaccinated travellers in the coming weeks. All this will remain unchanged for the time being.

On December 15, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos told Canadians that“this is not the time to travel“.

Canada therefore recommends that Canadians avoid non-essential travel as of December 15, 2021.

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Request for negative PCR test for all

Previously, Canadians who were outside of Canada for less than 72 hours were exempt from having to present a negative PCR test upon arrival. From now on, this will no longer be the case.

As of December 21, all Canadians entering the country must show a negative PCR test result, regardless of the length of their stay.

Back to square one

The alert for non-essential travel was lifted on October 21, 2021, for those vaccinated.

As of December 15, 2021, the advice for Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside the country is back.

This notice will be there for the next four weeks and will be re-evaluated thereafter. The notice will be posted on the Government of Canada website in the near future.

The non-essential travel notice may affect your insurance coverage if you travel abroad in the next few weeks. It is best to contact your financial institution directly and get a written response.


We will update this article as the situation develops.

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Jean-Maximilien is an expert in Canada and France about Loyalty programs, Credit cards and Travel. He is the Founding President of Milesopedia.

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