The Canadian government says it will not accept results of molecular COVID tests done in Nigeria and nine other African countries.

The other affected countries are Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Canada had, on November 30, banned travellers from the 10 countries over concerns about the spread of the Omicron COVID variant.

In the “quick facts” section of its travel advisory, the country said Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and people with status under the Indian Act who have been in the affected countries are allowed entry into Canada.

It, however, added that they would be required to obtain proof of a valid negative COVID test from a third country.

This implies that such travellers would need an in-transit PCR test result for entry into Canada.

“Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and people with status under the Indian Act who have been in these countries—Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe—in the 14 days before travel to Canada will be required to: Obtain, within 72 hours of departure, a valid negative COVID-19 molecular test in a third country before continuing their journey to Canada,” the statement reads.

Travellers from the aforementioned countries will also be expected to “complete testing upon arrival to Canada, regardless of their vaccination status or having had a previous history of testing positive for COVID-19”.

They will also be “required to complete a test on Day 8 after arrival and quarantine for 14 days”, while “those arriving by air will be required to stay in a designated quarantine facility while they await their arrival test result”.

“They will be permitted onward travel once they have received a negative arrival test result. Those arriving by land may be allowed to proceed directly to their suitable quarantine location,” the statement reads.

“If they do not have a suitable and robust quarantine plan—where they will not have contact with anyone with whom they haven’t travelled with—or do not have private transportation to their place of quarantine, they will be directed to stay at a designated quarantine facility.

“There will be increased scrutiny of quarantine plans for travellers from these countries and rigorous monitoring to ensure travellers are complying with quarantine measures.

“Further, PHAC is contacting travellers, regardless of their vaccination status or having had a previous history of testing positive for COVID-19, who have entered Canada from these countries in the past 14 days to direct them to be tested and to quarantine while they wait for the results of those tests.”

The new protocol came into effect on December 1.

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