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Canada to Halt Visas From Ebola-Affected Countries

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Canada will stop issuing visas to people traveling from the West African countries most affected by Ebola, the country’s government announced Friday.

“The precautionary measures announced today build on actions we have taken to protect the health and safety of Canadians here at home,” said Chris Alexander, the country’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister. “Our government continues to monitor the situation in West Africa very closely and will continue to act in the best interests of Canadians.”

The restriction will not apply to Canadian citizens returning from the region, but the government warned citizens against future travel.

Canada’s move is in sharp contrast to the World Health Organization’s (WHO)position that severely restricting travel impedes efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

“No evidence exists to support the effectiveness of travel bans as a protective measure,” said WHO Secretary General Margaret Chan earlier this week after Australia announced a similar measure.

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Write to Justin Worland at justin.worland@time.com