Canada and the United States have lifted travel restrictions for African countries that were imposed in November and were intended to slow down the spread of the Covid Omicron variant. As the Omicron variant has spread, the U.S. and Canada have updated travel and testing requirements to slow down the spread of the virus. The Africa travel bans received wide-spread criticism because the bans did not apply to other countries where Omicron had been detected.
Canada Updated Travel Restrictions and Testing Requirements
- On December 15, Canadians travelling home on indirect flights from South Africa were temporarily exempted from providing a negative PCR COVID-19 test from a third country until further notice.
- Canada lifted travel restrictions on foreign travellers from South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Nigeria, Malawi and Egypt on December 19 and added back Covid pre-arrival testing requirements. Starting December 21, a negative pre-arrival test is required for all new arrivals to Canada.
- Canadians were also advised to avoid all cruise ship travel outside of Canada.
U.S. Travel Ban Lifted
- Effective on December 31, 2021, the United States lifted travel restrictions on eight southern African countries: South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Namibia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
- All inbound international travellers to the United States are now required to test within one day of departure for the U.S. Documentation that the traveller has recovered from Covid-19 in the past 90 days is also accepted.
- U.S. travellers are required to wear masks in airports, on planes and on other modes of public transportation such as trains and buses through March 18.
Know Before You Go
If you have questions about your eligibility to travel to Canada or the United States, contact Ackah Law for assistance.