Many Canadians planning a summer trip are wondering what a potential holiday amid the pandemic could look like as provinces and countries continue to ease lockdown restrictions. Several well-known international destinations are also starting to ease their restrictions in a move to welcome back tourists, even as many provinces have opened their borders for travel within Canada. Nevertheless, travelers must follow specific rules as not everywhere is open. If you are considering taking a trip to Canada or abroad, the following is what you ought to know now.
TRAVEL WITHIN CANADA
Some Canadians are instead taking the chance to explore their own backyard as many international travels have recently started to reopen. Most of the country is open to domestic tourism, but restrictions differ across the provinces and territories and are subject to change. Currently, the only places Canadians can travel without having to self-isolate for 14 days are Saskatchewan, Alberta, B.C, Quebec, and Ontario. Depending on which part of the country they are traveling from, those looking to visit Manitoba and Nova Scotia may be required to self-isolate. Restrictions are on Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Where to move freely in Atlantic Canada between the four provinces without having to self-isolate but through a “bubble” travel system are Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Last week, P.E.I. Premier Dennis King indicated that he had doubted that the province would be looking “beyond the Atlantic bubble any time soon.” Those travelers who own cottages in either province are allowed in provided they self-isolate for 14 days. Nunavut and the Northwest Territories are off-limits to travelers from all regions. Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and B.C. residents permitted to enter Yukon without self-quarantine.
TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF CANADA
The Canadian government has cautioned against all non-essential international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, which remains in effect until further notice, even as other countries start to open their borders. Canadians are not free to travel anywhere. The regions that have opened their borders to Canadians include Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Bahamas, Bermuda, and Aruba. However, some require Canadians to take a COVID-19 test and submit the result upon arrival. On the other hand, the Canada-U.S. land border remains closed to non-essential travel until at least Aug. 21.
WHAT ABOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE?
The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association’s director of health and disability policy, Joan Weir, has indicated that travel insurance is available through some companies. However, it does not cover trip disruptions associated with COVID-19. Weir added that if a person is an essential traveler, he/she will be covered, but otherwise, people won’t find any insurance that they can purchase. Weir confirmed that none of those costs would be covered by the insurance company if your flight is canceled due to the pandemic or you contract the novel coronavirus while abroad. Weir also said that should the Government of Canada raise the travel advisory level amid the epidemic. Travelers should be prepared to return to Canada quickly.
CONCERNS AROUND CLEANLINESS
Barry Choi, the Toronto-based travel consultant, has said that “there has never been a cleaner time” to fly than right now. A traveler is in closer contact with people with an airplane. Choi stated that there are safety measures in place as several airlines have stopped keeping that middle seat empty, request each passenger to wear masks, people have their temperature checked before they depart. There’s minimal contact with the flight staff. Choi added that it is up to the traveler to decide if they’re comfortable with those steps. Choi said that he had never been on a cleaner plane before with passengers and staff taking extra precautions to ensure the aircraft was disinfected.
Canadians could contract the virus on their flight without knowing it despite there being enhance cleaning measures on airplanes. The Public Health Agency of Canada representative reported on Monday that the federal government would not notify Canadians after receiving post flight information on a passenger who turns out to have been infected. The affected flights will be reported by the federal government to the provincial health authorities and listed on the Government of Canada’s website in the “locations where you may have been exposed to the COVID-19” section. Then, every province will choose how to conduct appropriate contact tracing.