Canada’s stepping up its requirements for travellers yet again. As of next week, anyone arriving in the country will be required to show proof of a negative molecular test to be allowed into Canada.

Just last month, the feds announced that fully-vaccinated Canadian residents didn’t need to show a negative test if their trip out of the country was less than 72 hours, but any trips longer than that still require one.

“As of December 21, the requirement for pre-arrival testing will be in place again for trips of all duration,” said Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos on Friday.

At the same time, Canadian officials announced that the travel ban from African countries will lift on Saturday, which Duclos acknowledged is “controversial.”

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Arrival testing at Canadian airports has also increased to ensure that as many people as possible can be tested for COVID-19 when they land. As of this week, 20,960 tests are being performed at airports compared to just 11,000 in late November.

This comes just days after Canada reinstated the travel advisory that had been in place from March 2020 until October 2021. The advisory urges Canadians to avoid any and all non-essential travel outside of the country due to the Omicron variant.

Duclos said at the time that while those travelling abroad will be at risk of the variant, they’ll also run the risk of being stranded for indefinite periods of time.

Provinces are already beginning to follow suit with restrictions of their own. Quebec recently slashed capacity limits at all businesses and Ontario has also reduced capacity to 50% at large venues and events.

Well, things are looking quite grim out there, but at least most of us Canadians can look forward to a white Christmas.