- Field Hockey Canada has requested a federal government exemption to bring its junior women’s team home from South Africa.
- Because of shifting COVID-19 travel restrictions, the team is stranded in Potchefstroom, about 120 kilometers southwest of Johannesburg.
According to a Field Hockey Canada statement, athletes and staff have booked a flight out of Johannesburg on Wednesday, with a stopover in Germany.
The team, however, will not be allowed to board the flight in South Africa, according to the national organizing body, because Canada now requires them to have a negative PCR test in a third country. Field Hockey Canada reports that it has scheduled PCR tests at the German airport and arranged onward connecting flights to coincide with the planned testing times.
According to the organization, Lufthansa Airlines informed the German consulate that they would not board any Canadians in South Africa because they do not meet the rules for onward travel.
Field Hockey Canada requests that the federal government allow its team to transit through Germany and onto their Canadian flights without further testing. It is stated that the athletes and staff will test the day before departure in South Africa and will follow all arrival requirements in Canada.
The Canadian junior women’s field hockey team was in South Africa for the World Cup for their age group. The Junior World Cup was supposed to take place from December 5 to 17, but it was canceled last Thursday. Because of the omicron variant of COVID-19, most commercial flights into and out of South Africa were halted, leaving the players and staff with no immediate means of returning home.
Source: CBC News
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