Canada to accept South Africa COVID-19 tests, drop contentious 3rd-country rule – CBC

Ottawa had faced pressure from doctors, passengers and WHO to reverse course

Dec 12, 2021

Canada will start recognizing molecular COVID-19 tests conducted at an accredited lab in South Africa for residents returning home, dropping a heavily criticized travel restriction introduced to prevent the spread of the omicron variant.

Ottawa had faced pressure from doctors, stranded passengers and the World Health Organization to reverse requirements that travellers from 10 southern African countries get molecular PCR tests in a third country before returning to Canada.

Canada has now dropped the need to obtain a pre-departure negative COVID-19 PCR test from a third country, according to a travel advisory issued on Saturday.

The exemption will be in place until Jan. 7 next year and apply to all indirect flights departing from South Africa to Canada, the advisory added.

There is no change to Canada’s ban on all foreign travellers from 10 African countries.

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