- Ontario Premier Doug Ford praised the federal government’s new travel restrictions and testing requirements in response to the Omicron variant, saying local cases are “a cause for concern, but not for panic.”
The premier remarks during a news conference on Wednesday about the province’s long-awaited plans to rebuild Trillium Health Partners’ Mississauga Hospital. Just hours then, the federal government announced that it would add more countries to the list of nations subject to travel restrictions and impose new testing requirements on all air travelers from outside of Canada, except the United States.
“Every day, we learn about the Omicron virus, how quickly it spreads, and how serious it can be,” Ford told reporters. “The longer we wait for more cases to enter our country, the more time we have to learn and prepare.” So, for the time meaning, the best thing we can do is fortify our borders.”
Little is known about Omicron, including whether it is more contagious, causes more severe illness, or can evade vaccines. Scientists are concerned because of some high number of changes. While the Omicron variant was discovered in South Africa, it is possible that it was already present in other portions of the world before South African scientists discovered it.
On Tuesday, Canada imposed new travel restrictions. New testing requirements mean that, except in the United States, all air travelers arriving from outside Canada will now be required to be tested at the airport when they come in Canada, in addition to the existing pre-departure test requirement.
Nigeria, Malawi, and Egypt were also added to the list of seven other countries facing travel restrictions, including South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, and Eswatini.
Source: CTV News