Canada will stop processing visa applications from foreign nationals who have visited West African nations with large outbreaks of the Ebola virus, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said Friday.
Applications will be returned to people from Ebola hot spots who have already applied for visas, officials said in a press release.
The changes do not affect Canadians currently in West Africa, the press release said. Health care workers in West Africa will be permitted to travel back to Canada.
The action is similar to that taken by Australia several days ago.
"Our number one priority is to protect Canadians," Alexander said. "We continue to work with domestic and international partners to aid efforts to respond to the outbreak in West Africa, while strengthening our domestic preparedness here at home."
Also on Friday, the United Nations Ebola coordinator said it's not necessary to quarantine people merely because they come from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea.
"People do not need to be quarantined unless they have come into contact with people have Ebola or unless they have symptoms," said Dr. David Nabarro, U.N. system coordinator on Ebola.