Canadians stranded in South Africa due to the discovery of the omicron variant of the coronavirus have been granted a special travel exemption to return home.
They are now eligible to fly if they get a negative COVID-19 PCR test no more than 48 hours before departure from an accredited South African lab – or if they can show proof, according to the federal government. of a positive COVID-19. 19 test that was at least 14 days old, showing they had the infection and made a recovery.
After that, they must fly from Cape Town or Johannesburg to Frankfurt, Germany, where they must then travel to Canada on a direct flight on Lufthansa or Air Canada, no later than December 13.
The government’s notice posted online Saturday calls it a temporary exemption.
A number of Canadians, including members of Canada’s junior women’s field hockey team, have been stranded in South Africa since Canada suspended travel with that country and neighboring countries further back. of a week.
The field hockey team is scheduled to leave on December 8.
Canadians wishing to leave South Africa were frustrated by the restrictions Canada had put in place for travelers from 10 countries, mostly in southern Africa, requiring travelers to travel to a third country to get a COVID test. 19 negative before continuing their trip to Canada, regardless of vaccination status.
What’s happening across Canada
- NB announces 77 new cases, prepares for changes in restrictions.
What is happening in the world
As of Sunday, more than 265.6 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker. The death toll worldwide stood at over 5.2 million.
In the Americas, 10 people aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship as it approaches New Orleans have tested positive for COVID-19, officials said Saturday evening.
Norwegian Breakaway left New Orleans on November 28 and is expected to return this weekend, the Louisiana Department of Health said in a statement. During the past week, the ship called in Belize, Honduras and Mexico.
More than 3,200 people are on board the ship, officials said.
According to the statement, Norwegian “has adhered to the appropriate quarantine and isolation protocols as new cases and exposures have been identified aboard this vessel.”
Before disembarking in New Orleans, everyone on board will be tested for the coronavirus. Anyone who tests positive will either go straight home or self-isolate in accommodations provided by the cruise line, officials said.
In Europe, police fired tear gas and used water cannons on Sunday to disperse protesters by bombarding officers with cobblestones and fireworks as a protest in Brussels against government-imposed COVID-19 restrictions became violent.
Protesters were protesting against rules imposed by the Belgian government in October that require people to show COVID-19 vaccination cards to access bars and restaurants.
In Germany, the new transport minister is advising people against traveling on Christmas as the country tries to stem a wave of coronavirus infections.
“In the current situation, it seems smarter to spend Christmas in a small group at home and not plan big trips across the country,” Volker Wissing said in an interview with the Sunday Newspaper.
Federal and state leaders on Thursday announced tough new restrictions that widely target unvaccinated people, preventing them from entering non-essential shops, restaurants, sporting and cultural venues.