Pearson International Airport Toronto Canada
© Getty
Pearson International Airport
Canada has prohibited unvaccinated travelers from boarding airplanes or trains amid rising concerns of the new coronavirus strain, the omicron variant.

Passengers ages 12 and older must be fully vaccinated as of Nov. 30 to board "domestic or international flights" or trains. Travelers will need to be prepared to show proof of vaccination status.

"Starting November 30 at 3:01 am EST, vaccination will be required for travel within and to depart Canada," the travel restrictions on the Canadian travel website read. "A valid COVID-19 molecular test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to vaccination unless you're eligible for one of the limited exemptions."

via rail canada railroad
© Ron Visockis S-N2b
Travelers were given a "transition" period between Oct. 30 and Nov. 29, according to the Canadian travel website. During this time, unvaccinated travelers could travel as long as they provided proof of taking a "valid COVID-19 molecular test" 72 hours before their trip.

"If you indicate to your airline or railway company that you're eligible to board, but fail to provide proof of vaccination or valid COVID-19 test result, you won't be allowed to travel and could face penalties or fines," the website said.

Canada's new travel restrictions come into effect days after officials alerted the World Health Organization about the existence of the omicron variant. Omicron, discovered in South Africa, has a "large number of mutations, some of which are concerning," as well as "an increased risk of reinfection," according to the organization.

Despite some countries reimplementing lockdowns, President Joe Biden's decision to limit flights from the region amid transmissibility concerns, and other strict COVID-19 protocols across the globe, some have expressed optimism omicron's circulation could be limited. Pfizer and BioNTech said it would be possible to create a COVID-19 vaccine that protects against the new variant within 100 days.

The new strain has been detected in Hong Kong, Israel , England , Germany, Botswana, Italy, Belgium, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands.

To date, Canada has reported roughly 1,798,515 coronavirus-related cases and 29,772 deaths attributed to the virus, according to the New York Times . Roughly 77% of Canadians are considered fully vaccinated, having either a two-dose vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, while 81% of Canadians have received one dose of a vaccine, the outlet added.