Canadian field hockey team gets travel exemption to leave South Africa

POTCHEFSTROOM, South Africa – Field Hockey Canada says it has received an exemption from the federal government to help bring its junior women’s team back from South Africa.

POTCHEFSTROOM, South Africa – Field Hockey Canada says it has received an exemption from the federal government to help bring its junior women’s team back from South Africa.

The team found themselves stranded in Potchefstroom, about 120 kilometers southwest of Johannesburg, due to changing travel restrictions linked to COVID-19.

Athletes and staff have booked a flight out of Johannesburg on December 8, transiting through Germany. But Field Hockey Canada said the team could not board in South Africa due to Canada’s requirement to have a negative PCR test in a third country.

The national organizing body now indicates on its website that “Transport Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada have agreed to grant a time-limited exemption for PCR testing in a third country for certain flights from South Africa to facilitate the return of Canadian and permanent citizens. The residents.”

It states that the exemption will require a negative PCR test performed within 48 hours of the scheduled final departure flight to Canada issued by an accredited laboratory in South Africa.

Canada’s junior women’s field hockey team was in South Africa for their age group’s World Cup.

The Junior World Cup was scheduled for December 5-17, but the tournament was canceled last Thursday. Due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19, most commercial flights to and from South Africa have been suspended, leaving players and staff without immediate return home.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on December 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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