International

Canada advises against international travel: ‘I understand this sucks,’ Trudeau says

The Canadian government on Wednesday advised residents against travelling internationally in light of the omicron variant’s spread.

“I say very clearly: Now is not the time to travel,” said Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, according to Reuters.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “I understand that sucks” and encouraged people to “be careful during this holiday season. Get your kids their shots.”

The travel advisory issued on Wednesday recommended that Canadians avoid nonessential travel to most other countries, including the U.S.

“If you’re planning to travel outside of Canada for the holidays, please, change your plans. Let’s be clear: with the emergence of the Omicron variant and its spread around the world, now is not the time for non-essential international travel,” Trudeau wrote on Twitter.

“It’s still incredibly important to follow public health guidelines and, more than anything, to get vaccinated. After all, we have enough vaccines for your kids over 5 to get their first dose – and we’ve secured enough boosters for adults. So, when it’s your turn, get your shot,” he said.

As Reuters noted, health experts have warned that the omicron variant may soon overwhelm Canada’s health systems.

Peter Juni, Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table director, acknowledged that people are likely exhausted from dealing with the pandemic, but urged people to get vaccinated and to take omicron seriously.

“What really worries me is that people are asleep at the steering wheel, internationally,” said Juni. “They have wishful thinking it will be mild. … This is not a realistic attitude.”

“I’m completely exhausted,” he added. “I’ve had it. I’m done completely. But the virus doesn’t care.”

International