The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular), has announced that the Canadian government has updated its travel advice and information for Canadians as they make plans to attend the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Russia.
The government issued its last update on Jan. 24, 2014.
- Public transportation: Whenever possible, limit your use of public transportation that is not affiliated with the Games. If you must use public buses or trains, be particularly vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Travel outside of designated Olympic sites: Be particularly cautious. There remains an ongoing insurgency in the North Caucasus, located approximately 150 kilometres from Sochi; consult our Advisories against travel to the North Caucasus republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan.
- Prescription medications: Russian authorities have placed special security measures and restrictions on various items and materials, including prescription medications and medical supplies, at Olympic venues. Travellers are encouraged to bring a copy of the prescription with them and be prepared to show it to officials.
Minister Yelich stated: “We continue to advise all Canadians travelling to the 2014 Winter Games to take sensible precautions and maintain a high level of vigilance at all times and in all places. Although consular services will be available on the ground, individual travellers need to take responsibility for their own safety.”
The minister also advised: “In order for Canadians to stay well informed about the risks, we strongly urge all those travelling to the Games to visit our http://www.Travel.gc.ca web site for the latest information and register with Registration of Canadians Abroad. Updates are also available on our Twitter feed and Facebook pages.”
The 2014 Olympic Winter Games will be held in Sochi from Feb. 7 to Feb. 23, 2014, and the Paralympic Winter Games from March 7 to March 16. Some events will also be held in the resort town of Krasnaya Polyana. Because any high-profile international event may be the target of a terrorist attack, special security arrangements will be in place at Olympic venues, airports, border crossings and other sensitive areas.
Minister Yelich pointed out as well that: “The host country is solely responsible for the safety of all athletes, teams and visitors. The Canadian government and its agencies are working with the appropriate Russian government agencies, as well as with like-minded allies, to provide the safest and most secure environment possible for Canadians for the duration of these exciting events.”