MISE & Agrave; DAY
The “speed” with which the federal government acted to impose new rules on foreigners to limit the entry of the Omicron variant was hailed as much in Quebec City as in Ottawa on Monday morning.
At a press briefing on the worrying new variant of COVID-19, the Quebec Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, welcomed the fact that the federal government was “excessively reactive [.. .] for a few days “.
“The federal government very quickly tightened measures for travelers, which is why today we are able to have the information we gave you on the 115 travelers” who returned countries in southern Africa, he continued.
In the Bloc Québécois, the tone was more or less the same.
“We are satisfied with the speed at which the government has acted, ”said Kristina Michaud, on the sidelines of a press briefing on firearms.
“On Friday morning, the government was asked to act quickly and close the borders for people returning from South Africa or countries that were close to South Africa. It was done quite quickly, ”she said.
Ottawa imposed five measures on Friday to limit the entry of the variant into the country, when little was yet known about the Omicron variant and only one case in Europe had been detected.
It should be noted that the borders have not been closed to the countries of southern Africa as such, the federal government having opted for a ban on entry to foreigners having transacted through the six countries in question and the return of a temporary quarantine for the citizens who passed there.
Federal ministers of health and transport, Jean-Yves Duclos and Omar Alghabra, had postponed their morning press briefing at 11 a.m. to decide on an emergency action plan.
As the member for Avignon-La Mitis-Matane-Matapédia noted, “speed” represents a change in the government's approach.
At the start of the pandemic, the Trudeau government had been heavily criticized for delaying in imposing border restrictions.
The same happened earlier this year, when Ottawa waited several days before limiting flights from the 'India, where the Delta variant was first detected.
Ms. Michaud has not called for the immediate return of COVID-19 testing for everyone returning to the border, but believes that it is nevertheless necessary to “tighten the borders”.