The travel industry has taken a hit since the start of the pandemic, with many feeling unsafe about the process. Natalie Preddie breaks down everything you need to know, should you choose to go.
Canada’s top airlines such as Air Canada, Air Transat, WestJet are set to resume international travel mid-late July with fewer routes. Every major airline has implemented a new, branded, sanitization program for their aircraft.
What to expect: Self-service check-in, a ‘welcome kit’ (including facemask, gloves, disinfectant wipes, sanitization spray), zero paper materials on flights and reduced service.
Countries open to travel
A total of 126 countries are totally closed, 64 are partially closed, 7 are reopening soon, 22 have zero restrictions. Every country has different checks when you arrive including health history forms, temperature checks, accommodation forms (for tracing), COVID testing or rapid antigen testing.
Is this the time to take advantage of travel deals?
Prices will be based on demand so international flight prices will automatically drop. However, if you leave the country, you will need to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive home. Temperature checks will be mandatory to and from Canada by EOM.
Via is slowly adding more frequency for specific short-haul routes such as Toronto-Ottawa and Montreal-Ottawa. However, Schedules are still limited. Certain long haul routes like Toronto-Vancouver have been suspended until November. Passengers will be screened for any physical signs of illness prior to boarding and be denied boarding if they have any of the symptoms
Is there social distancing on board a train?
Social distancing is being maintained on-board trains and seat assignments have been cancelled. Passengers are encouraged to wear a mask, however, due to physical distancing practices, it is not mandatory. Passengers are responsible for bringing their own masks if they choose to wear one. All passengers will receive a complimentary snack and water. No other food or beverage service will be offered and passengers with food restrictions are being asked to plan accordingly.
Countries are only opening up a certain number of hotel rooms at a given time. Meanwhile, some countries still have curfews and beaches have strict social distancing protocols. Resorts will operate with reduced occupancy, physical distancing, new cleaning protocols, special staff training, reduced restaurant openings, limited activities while some requiring wearing a face mask.
If you arrive at a destination and test positive for Covid-19
If you arrive at a destination and test positive for COVID, you will be forced to quarantine in that country for 14 days before being sent home. Each country has very cleaning and sanitization policies now. For example, in Antigua, each hotel room will be sealed (with a sticker) once it has been sanitized. If the seal is broken, no one will be permitted to enter. In addition, Jamaica has opened a ‘Coronavirus resilient corridor’ along the North coast.
Note: Things can change by the hour when it comes to COVID so please keep an eye on updates and keep in touch with your destination. Also, travel insurance will NOT cover COVID related cancellations so make sure that you, and your destination, are flexible just in case.