Canada urges citizens to avoid all nonessential international travel, just days before Christmas

Dec 16, 2021

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Canada has advised all citizens to avoid nonessential travel outside of the country due to the omicron variant, thereby requesting travelers to reconsider any upcoming holiday travel plans just one week from Christmas.

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“The Public Health Agency of Canada is advising travelers, regardless of their vaccination status, to avoid non-essential travel internationally,” the Canadian government said in a press release on Dec. 15, while warning those who decide to proceed with travel “may have difficulty returning to Canada, or may have to remain abroad for an indeterminate period.”

Although Canada remains open to international travelers, including Americans, Canadian entry requirements may change without notice, as is the case with other countries.

“Local authorities abroad may impose control measures suddenly, including movement restrictions such as lockdowns,” Canadian government officials said in a statement. “In some countries, you may have limited access to timely and appropriate health care should you become ill.”

Currently, fully vaccinated U.S. citizens are allowed to enter Canada by air by submitting results of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of entry and by uploading their vaccination proof digitally in ArriveCan.

Even so, “the final determination will be made by a government official at the port of entry,” according to the Canadian government. Air travelers may be subject to a mandatory randomized test upon arrival as well.

Testing requirements do not currently apply to those crossing into Canada via a land border.

Also on Thursday, France announced a temporary ban on travel by French citizens to or from the United Kingdom.

Related: Traveling to Canada during the pandemic — what’s it like?

Featured photo of Canadian officials, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at a news conference in Ottawa on Dec. 15 by David Kawai/Bloomberg/Getty Images.

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