The Public Health Agency of Canada is “carefully monitoring” what is happening in China with COVID-19, but is not doing the same in the United States, which will require visitors arriving from China to be tested for detection of the virus before your flight.
According to the federal agency, any changes to the rules currently in place will be made through a “Travel Health Notice,” which allows you to inform Canadian travelers of health risks.
“Level 2” advisories are already in effect for all countries, including China, due to the pandemic, meaning travelers must “take special health precautions when traveling abroad.”
“The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to monitor and assess the global epidemiology of COVID-19 for the health and safety of Canadians. Travelers are still advised to maintain enhanced health precautions and follow public health measures at their points of entry. Any additional updates will be communicated to travelers through a travel health advisory,” the federal agency said in a statement to The Canadian Press.
The agency emphasizes that it may be wiser to wear a mask, avoid activities that are conducive to transmission of the virus, or even postpone travel if possible.
An additional “level 2” advisory was also posted on December 23 in anticipation of Chinese New Year, the festivities of which will take place at the end of January. This event is likely to draw large crowds in China, increasing the chances of spreading COVID-19 and other diseases, the notice read.
The note also recalls that “China has recently lifted many of its restrictions due to COVID-19”, which could lead to a further increase in virus cases in the country.
In a statement, the Public Health Agency said it is monitoring genomic sequencing data and the impact of COVID-19 on public health in China.
“BF.7, a sub-variant of Omicron, has spread in China. In Canada, nationally, BF.7 has been detected for a few months and is estimated to account for 5-8% of positive cases as of December 17, 2022. Its rate of progression has slowed to less than 3%. per day compared to other Omicron sublines. Under current Canadian conditions, Omicron’s BQ sublines are more likely to spread faster than BF.7,” the federal agency explains in its statement.
The United States announced Wednesday that it will impose new border restrictions on travelers arriving from China due to a spike in cases.
Starting January 5, travelers from China will be required to take a COVID-19 test no later than 48 hours before their trip and provide a negative result before boarding the plane.
In a statement, the US Centers for Infectious Disease Control and Prevention cited rising infections and what they said was a lack of adequate and transparent information from China to explain the addition of this measure.
China, which until recently had a “zero covid” policy, suddenly began to withdraw all its sanitary measures in recent weeks, leading to a meteoric rise in outbreaks and new cases.
The rapid increase in community transmission of the virus in the country has led to overburdened healthcare systems, which are overwhelmed in both emergency rooms and funeral homes.
— With information from The Associated Press