Canadians in South Africa face trouble returning home amid new Omicron rules – National
Canadians trying to return home from South Africa say they’re frustrated by a lack of communication from the federal government and from testing requirements they say make some trips impossible.
Megan Tanya Hodgkinson was visiting relatives in South Africa when the Canadian government last week imposed new travel restrictions on several African countries, including South Africa, to stem the spread of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.
She is scheduled to return to Canada via the United Kingdom next Tuesday, but she fears she won’t be able to meet Canada’s new testing rules, which require some travellers to get tested in the country in which they transit.
Hodgkinson, a Canadian permanent resident with a South African passport, says she isn’t able to access testing at U.K. airports because of her nationality.
She says it’s unfair that Canada has singled out African countries for enhanced travel restrictions because it was South African scientists who diligently alerted the world to the presence of the Omicron variant.
Montrealer Peter Pfefferle says he was planning to leave South Africa on Monday and return home via the Netherlands, but he had his flight cancelled because of new travel rules imposed by the European country.
He says the Canadian government hasn’t provided enough information about how travellers can return home.
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