Manitoba Daily

Friday, January 28, 2022

Canada grants stranded passengers in South Africa a short visa exemption

Canada grants stranded travellers in South Africa

Key takeaways:

  • After broadening its travel restriction, the Canadian Government made a temporary exception for visitors who meet certain criteria.
  • Canadians who are currently stranded in South Africa can now return home under the new guidelines.

The Canadian Government has offered a temporary exception for tourists who fit certain requirements after widening its travel ban to cover a total of ten nations in southern Africa.

The Government announced Saturday that Canadians who present a negative PCR COVID-19 test from an accredited lab in South Africa within 48 hours of departing would be allowed to return home for the next week or so.

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Travelers can also fly from Johannesburg or Cape Town to Frankfurt, Germany, on a Lufthansa trip that departs on or before Dec. 13, and then fly from Germany to Canada on either Lufthansa or Air Canada.

Canadians who are currently stranded in South Africa can now return home under the new guidelines. Lara Dodo, a Toronto resident who has been attempting to return home with her husband and three children, is one such traveler. After her father died of COVID-19 earlier this year, she just traveled to South Africa to see family.

Canada enacts a temporary exemption for stranded travelers in South Africa.
Canada enacts a temporary exemption for stranded travelers in South Africa. Image from Mint

On Sunday, Dodo told CTV News Channel, “It’s just strange.” “It’s been worrisome because there’s been no clear information coming from Ottawa about our status in terms of travel or a clear and coordinated pathway home for the previous week.”

On Nov. 26, the Canadian Government placed a ban on any foreign people who have been through southern Africa. Concerns over the spread of Omicron, a novel COVID-19 strain, prompted the legislation’s introduction.

Travelers from Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe were initially barred, but the ban has since been expanded to include ten countries: Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

Despite the fact that Dodo and her family were able to book a trip with Lufthansa this week, she admitted that she is still concerned about the departure going as planned.

“Receiving our five negative PCR tests is the true stress,” she said. “Then there’s the government quarantine hotel, which is the next initiative.”

“At this point, the concept of staying in a government hotel is a little daunting, so one step at a time.”

Source: CTV News

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