Here’s what Health Minister Duclos is saying now about travel in the coming weeks
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Dec. 10, 2021

Here’s what Health Minister Duclos is saying now about travel in the coming weeks

OTTAWA — Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos stopped short of telling Canadians not to travel in the coming weeks.

However at this morning’s COVID-19 briefing he had a message for anyone planning to travel: “You need to plan ahead. Be prepared for airport delays. Use the ArriveCAN app. Have a quarantine plan. And be prepared for officials to follow up.”

A reporter then asked Duclos if he had a “clear message” for travel or gatherings over the holidays.

“Outside of Canada, the situation [in light of the omicron variant] is evolving very rapidly,” he said. “And things can change rapidly. In some European countries, things are getting very complicated [with the spread of omicron].”

Later in the briefing he said: “The new variant tells us we need to be vigilant. Right now in Canada community transmission is limited. However for Canadians thinking about travelling outside of the country, omicron should be a big red part of their radar screen. It should be a serious alarm bell. There is uncertainty and risks with travelling in other countries over the next few weeks.”

He was also asked about the blanket travel advisory against all non-essential travel, which just lifted in October 2021. He said the federal government is currently not making changes to any advisory. “That could come” depending on the evolving situation, he said. “My advice to Canadians is, be extremely prudent when thinking about travelling.”

Duclos also spoke about quarantine measures. “Returning travellers may need to quarantine for a few days, maybe longer, it may be strict and severe” if the omicron situation devolves. 

Earlier this week, as reported on Travelweek.ca, Duclos offered guidance about winter sun vacations.

As announced last month, all air arrivals to Canada except from the U.S. must be tested for COVID-19 and self-isolate until the results are known. On Nov. 30 Canada’s airports were processing 11,000 tests per day. As of yesterday, Dec. 9, that number was up to 17,000. The number needs to reach 23,000, said Duclos. “We are gradually ramping up testing capacity at the airports,” he said.