Canadian field hockey team gets travel exemption to leave South Africa

Canadian field hockey team gets travel exemption to leave South Africa
Canada's junior women's field hockey team has been granted a travel exemption to return to home from South Africa. (@fhc_wolfpups/Instagram via courtesy CBC News)

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

University of Victoria’s Nora Struchtrup and Stefanie Sajko are among those on the team, which got stuck in Potchefstroom, about 120 kilometres southwest of Johannesburg, because of shifting COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The athletes and staff booked a flight out of Johannesburg on Dec. 8, transiting through Germany. But Field Hockey Canada said the team was being barred from boarding in South Africa because of Canada’s requirement that they have a negative PCR test in a third country.

The national organizing body now says on its website that “Transport Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada have agreed to grant a time-limited waiver for the third country PCR test for some flights from South Africa to facilitate the return of Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents.”

It says the exemption will require a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of the scheduled final departure flight to Canada issued by an accredited lab in South Africa.

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

RELATED: UVic Vikes players heading to junior field hockey world cup

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