Some snowbirds are contemplating toughing out the winter months north of the border as temperatures start to cool down in Canada, while others are hoping border restrictions would ease to make the trip south. Among the projected 350,000 Canadians who spend between three and six months in Florida is Jack Deneboom. Jack and his wife are still not sure whether they will try to head to their winter home in Naples, Fla. this winter.
The state of Florida announced 1,701 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, which brought the overall total to 685,439 cases. On Monday, Canada announced 1,308 new cases of COVID-19, hitting a total of 145,418 confirmed cases of the virus. The U.S.
Customs and Border Protection says Canadian air passengers can still enter the country though, the Canada-U.S. border is closed to non-essential travel until Oct. 21 and may be extended, as long as Canadians have not visited Iran, Ireland, Brazil, China, the U.K., or countries in the Schengen Area in the 14 days before.
Depending on the state, Canadians arriving in the U.S. may have to self-isolate upon arrival. Joanne Atherton, who spends her summers at a gated RV resort in Peterborough County, Ont. but drives down to Northport, Fla. every winter, faces a similar decision. Atherton stated that she isn’t comfortable taking a flight. This means that if the border isn’t opened sometime soon, she may have to stay with family members this year.
Several insurance companies have started offering COVID-19 medical coverage according to their travel insurance because of the growing demand for international travel. Besides, provided the customer is below 70, and in good health, Medipac gives four months of coverage for less than $900. This is an insurance broker closely related to the Canadian Snowbirds Association. Christopher Davidge, Medipac vice president of sales and marketing, said that there was a massive outcry from Canadian snowbirds at the beginning of this travel season, and asked whether there would be coverage for COVID-19 related illness.
Last week, Manulife declared the same service, developed to offer medical coverage for COVID-19 infections, and some coverage if a trip is canceled or interrupted. There are several destinations Canadians can fly to with few, if any, restrictions, even as the Canadian government continues to advise against all non-essential travel. They include much of Europe, Cuba, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. However, experts have indicated that as countries experience a second wave of cases, many of the attractions may be limited or closed down.