Exemption for Canadian travelers to South Africa in effect – .

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Exemption for Canadian travelers to South Africa in effect – .


TORONTO – After expanding its travel ban to include a total of 10 southern African countries, the Canadian government has introduced a temporary exception for travelers who meet certain criteria.

Canadians who provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test from an accredited laboratory in South Africa within 48 hours of leaving will be allowed to return home for about a week, the government said on Saturday.

The exemption also allows travelers to travel from Johannesburg or Cape Town to Frankfurt, Germany, on a Lufthansa flight departing on or before December 13, and then travel by Lufthansa or Air Canada from Germany to Canada.

The amended rules allow Canadians currently stranded in South Africa to return home. One of those travelers is Lara Dodo, a Toronto resident who is trying to get home with her husband and three children. She recently traveled to South Africa to visit relatives after her father died from COVID-19 earlier this year.

“It’s completely surreal,” Dodo told CTV News Channel on Sunday. “Over the past week, there has been absolutely no clear information coming out of Ottawa as to our travel status, or a clear and coordinated path back, so it has been stressful. “

The Canadian government first announced an entry ban for all foreign nationals who have traveled to southern Africa on November 26. The legislation was introduced in response to growing concerns about the spread of Omicron, the new variant of COVID-19.

The ban initially applied to travelers from seven countries, but has since been extended to 10 – Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

While Dodo and her family were able to secure a flight with Lufthansa this week, she said she was still nervous about the departure going as planned.

“The real stress is getting our five negative PCR tests,” she said. “And then the next business, which is a government quarantine hotel.

“The idea of ​​spending time in a government hotel is a bit daunting at this point, so one step at a time. ”

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