While the Canadian federal government still advises against non-essential travel, many fully vaccinated Canucks are ready to spread their wings and venture beyond the border. So, now that nearly 73 per cent of eligible Canadians are fully vaccinated (the global average is 36 per cent), where exactly can you go?
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It turns out that while there are plenty of options, some caveats still exist and the answers can be complicated as each country has its own patchwork of measures that may change with little notice. Some destinations will require you to get a Covid test, others will ask you to quarantine, and then there is the small matter of whether these destinations recognize mixed doses (because not all do). Further still, not all locals are looking to host travellers, even as their governments have removed travel restrictions.
Here is where Canadians stand when it comes to 10 popular travel destinations to help you navigate mindfully, if you are fully-vaccinated and see a trip in your near future.
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What you need to know about travelling along the Canadian-United States border
While Canadians have been able to fly into the States for leisure since January of this year, travellers looking to cross the border for non-essential reasons by land and ferry have yet to be permitted stateside (Canada eased its border restrictions back in August). However, this will soon change as the US plans to reopen land borders in November to those Canadians recognized as fully-vaccinated (although those with certain mixed doses will remain in limbo for the time being).
What you need to know about travelling to Hawaii
As Canadians plan to visit warmer climes (particularly as our own cools down for what is projected to be a particularly bad winter), it’s worth noting that places like Hawaii are still wary of foreign travellers and are asking tourists to hang back so as not to unnecessarily expose its island populations to Covid. Canadian entry requirements, as noted by the state’s travel and tourism board, say that, beginning in mid-December, travellers “may bypass the state’s mandatory 10-day quarantine if they have a negative PCR test result from a lab identified by Air Canada or WestJet. The test must be taken within 72 hours of travel and a negative test result must be received prior to departure. Those without this test will be required to quarantine for 10 days or the length of their stay.”
While the board notes that exceptions are made for those who have been double-vaccinated in the States, it makes no mention of the rules pertaining to vaxxed Canadians while the federal government sorts its business out, so for now, be prepared to quarantine.
What you need to know about travelling to United Kingdom
While there is still a general advisory to avoid all non-essential travel to the UK, Canadians — whether vaccinated against Covid or not — are no longer required to quarantine upon arrival as of August. Canada is part of a “green list” of countries the British Department for Transport deems low-risk to public health in the United Kingdom — another benefit of coming from a country with high vaccination and low Covid rates. Travellers who aren’t vaccinated will still, however, need to take two Covid tests after their arrival in the UK.
What you need to know about travelling to France
Thinking of visiting this romantic destination? While France is permitting travellers from Canada and another 55 countries it deems low-risk, there are a few things you need to know before packing your bags. For starters, Expedia.ca says fully vaccinated Canadians no longer require proof of a negative Covid test, or an antigen test taken within 72 hours before arriving (those who aren’t fully vaxxed remain subject to one of these or proof of full recovery from Covid within the last six months). If you are vaccinated, you will need to show proof of your vaccination, so get your papers in order.
What you need to know about travelling to Germany
Canadians who are fully-vaccinated don’t need a mandatory Covid test, according to Expedia.ca, although like France, they will need to show proof of vaccination. Hold on to that proof as you may be asked to show it again for accessing indoor cafes, restaurants, personal care services, indoor sports and even overnight accommodation. Those who aren’t yet fully vaccinated will still need to show proof of an antigen test or Covid test. The good news is that if you’re arriving to Germany straight from Canada, you won’t need to quarantine.
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What you need to know about travelling to the Dominican Republic
A popular travel destination to many sun-seeking Canadians in non-Covid times, the Dominican Republic remains open to travel, despite Canada’s general advisory to avoid all non-essential and cruise ship travel. Still, Expedia.ca notes there are no quarantines in the Dominican Republic, and fully vaccinated Canadians don’t need to do a Covid test unless they have been to one of the countries noted here in the past 14 days (and this list includes the United Kingdom). In this event, vaccinated or not, you’ll need to do a Covid test within three days of departure. Unvaccinated Canadians may be required to take a Covid breath test at random on arrival.
What you need to know about travelling to Mexico
Canadians travelling to Mexico can enter without travel restriction if arriving by air, regardless of their vaccination status. There is no proof of vaccination required, nor is a negative Covid PCR test or antigen result necessary. There are no quarantine measures unless an individual is showing symptoms of Covid, in which case quarantine is mandatory.
What you need to know about travelling to Costa Rica
While Costa Rica remains open to most Canadian travellers entering the country by air, there are a few restrictions, according to Expedia.ca. Travellers are not required to show proof of a negative Covid test, and there is no quarantine required, whether or not they are vaccinated. However, travellers must wear masks in all public spaces — and this includes indoor settings (except when eating, while alone or in a private home). Additionally, those who aren’t vaccinated must also show proof of travel insurance.
What you need to know about travelling to Jamaica
Expedia.ca notes that most travellers arriving from Canada can enter Jamaica, but will undergo a health screening and risk assessment. Whether fully vaccinated or not, travellers will be required to take a PCR test. However, those who are fully vaccinated “will be released from quarantine, though all persons are reminded to adhere to the infection prevention and control guidelines including minimal interactions with the general public,” according to Jamaica’s travel and tourism board. Those who aren’t fully vaxxed can still be released from quarantine, but are expected to remain at their “resilient corridor” resort for the duration of their stay.
What you need to know about travelling to Barbados
While Barbados is welcoming travellers, there are some notable restrictions. There is a mandatory temperature screening upon arrival, and masks are mandatory in public. Expedia.ca cites that whether they’ve been vaccinated or not, travellers must have a negative PCR test, and that the test must be taken at an accredited lab no more than three days before arrival. Furthermore, “travellers should upload their results vis BIMSafe App or online at travelform.gov.bb and travel with a copy of their test results clearly showing the date the test was taken.” While fully vaccinated travellers don’t need to quarantine, “Unvaccinated travellers must quarantine for at least five days at an approved accommodation.”
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