The federal government announced on Friday that travel from seven countries in southern Africa will be restricted because of the omicron variant.
After the newly found coronavirus variant omicron prompted global travel restrictions and cancelled flights to the region, a junior field hockey team from Canada trapped in South Africa is expecting to return home by the end of the week.
South Africa was the 1st place where the new, perhaps more transmissible virus was discovered. All foreign people who have been via South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, or Mozambique in the last 14 days would be prevented from entering Canada, the Canadian government stated on Friday.
The squad, which includes 14 women from British Columbia, flew to South Africa to practise and play in the FIH Women’s Junior World Cup, which will be held in Potchefstroom from December 5 to 16.
The competition was postponed on Friday due to the omicron variety. Due to travel limitations, teams from the United Kingdom and Europe would not have been able to compete.
The team trapped in South Africa includes Sue Goddard’s two kids, Nora, 20, and Arden, 18, both from Metro Vancouver. The team’s entire roster is under the age of 21.
“At that point, the borders and planes down to South Africa began to close, and they rapidly realised they had no way of coming home,” Goddard said on Monday.
A huge disappointment.
The team’s manager, Nancy Mollenhauer, expressed disappointment that the team will not be able to compete, especially after winning gold in the Junior Pan American Games in Chile earlier this year.
“It’s a major event. It’s the zenith of a junior athlete’s career at this stage “According to Mollenhauer.
According to Goddard, the team’s focus quickly shifted to how they were going to go home.
“At first, all the girls were distraught,” she explained, “After that, everyone was a little worried about how they were going to get home.”
South African and Canadian officials, according to Goddard, have been supporting the squad and working hard to send them back home.
“They’ve been treated incredibly well at the institution where they’re staying,” she said. “We were never concerned about their physical safety; we were only concerned about getting them back on planes and back to Canada.”
Get Prince Edward Island and Canada’s top News, Latest News and other News of the world only at the most trustable news website of Canada peledger.com