Many of us are thinking about finally taking that long-awaited vacation trip. Especially if you’re already fully vaccinated, you might be raring to go this summer. However, while it’s true that some requirements have been relaxed, some travel restrictions are still up, both from your point of origin and your destination. So before you buy that ticket and start packing your bags, check the following items that may have an impact on your plans.
The reality is – the pandemic is not over yet. We don’t want to be a wet blanket but COVID-19 variants continue to be threats, not only within Canada but also in several countries all over the world. So whether or not you are vaccinated, we are all urged to still continue observing safety protocols like mask-wearing and social distancing.
Also because of the continued threat of the virus and its variants, health guidelines and protocols may change quickly. That’s why it’s important to be updated with the latest travel and health advisories before, during and prior to your return trip. Also consider shielding yourself from the impact and costs of flight cancellations or changes by asking about return or reimbursement policies beforehand.
Local travel is a go
The good news is that some travel protocols like quarantine and tests have been recently waived for local travelers with the exception of some Atlantic provinces (whether you drive or fly). So if you wish to explore Canada, now could be a good time to do it.
When planning your trip, it’s important to know the provincial or territorial rules that you need to follow. While there are no federal requirements for travel, each province has its own guidelines and restrictions. To see them go to: Travelling between provinces/territories on Canada.ca.
The federal government still advises against non-essential travel. But if it’s necessary for you to travel outside of Canada, check Official Global Travel Advisories first. You can also use the UNWTO/IATA Destination Tracker tool for up-to-date information on health indicators, current air travel regulations, destination-specific restrictions, and health regulations for more than 200 countries. Note that vacation destinations like the United States, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia require travelers to provide proof of negative test upon entry.
You’ll be glad to know that upon return, quarantine has been lifted for vaccinated Canadians. However, travellers will still be required to provide proof of negative COVID-19 PCR test before returning to Canada. They must also take a second test upon arrival. It’s great that the cost of the second test is covered by the federal government however, the pre-arrival test will be shouldered by the traveller. The cost will depend on the country they’re departing from.
Fully vaccinated travelers must use the ArriveCan app to enter their proof of vaccination. It is also recommended that they bring their original proof of vaccination. To know more details about requirements for entry to Canada and other information about international travel, go to: COVID-19: Travel, testing, quarantine and borders.
Whether travelling locally or internationally, please take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and others safe. Have a happy trip!
Sources: Fully vaccinated and yearning to travel? Here are the new rules of the road, Sophia Harris, CBC; COVID-19: Travel, testing, quarantine and borders, Canada.ca. Accessed July 21, 2021.
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