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Canada lifts travel ban on Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt others

Canada
A flowing Canadian flag on a flagpole. Taken at sunset with Old Quebec City and the St. Lawrence River in the background. Aerial HDR view.

The other nations whose travel ban had been lifted were Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

Ottawa had on December 1 extended the travel ban to Nigeria, Egypt and Malawi amid worries over the spread of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.

This followed the detection of cases of Omicron in two people who had traveled to Nigeria.

The Canadian Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos who announced the development at a news conference on Friday, however, said the lifting of the travel ban would take effect from 11:59 p.m. on Saturday.

The country also reintroduced testing and warned that the Omicron variant was rapidly overwhelming hospitals.

Duclos said: “The restriction had been announced last month to slow the arrival of Omicron in Canada and buy us some time

“But with Omicron now spreading within Canada it is no longer needed.

“Pre-arrival negative PCR tests for all travelers would also be reinstated as of December 21.