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Ottawa, provinces mull expansion of COVID-19 tests for arriving American travellers

Ottawa announced on Tuesday that all air travellers entering Canada, except for those coming from the U.S., would need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival
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OTTAWA — Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says it's too early to say whether Canada's latest requirement to test arriving air travellers for COVID-19 will be extended to include those coming from the United States.

Alghabra says the federal government is in discussions with the provinces on that issue but is ready to act to implement such a requirement for incoming U.S. air travellers if necessary.

Ottawa announced on Tuesday that all air travellers entering Canada, except for those coming from the U.S., would need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival at the airport and isolate until they get their results, even if they are fully vaccinated against the virus.

The stricter measures come as public health officials around the world warn of the potentially dangerous new Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The federal government has also closed its border to foreign nationals who have recently travelled through 10 African countries, including Nigeria.

Canada has now confirmed cases in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Alberta — all involving people who recently returned from Nigeria.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version reported, based on incorrect information from Nigerian officials, that the Omicron variant was first identified in the country.

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