Travel is happening again, and we couldn’t be more excited! But this brave new world also leads to lots of new questions.
As Canadian travellers cautiously begin exploring the world again, you may have questions about protocols, requirements, and your family’s safety. Canadian traveller restriction news seems to constantly be updated, but at Gravitate, we’re helping to arm you with all the info you need for a safe—and fun—vacation.
As you start planning your trip, here are some questions to ask yourself—or your friendly local travel professionals at Gravitate. The information in this article is accurate as of September 2021. Rules and regulations are constantly changing in Canada and around the world. We will do our best to keep you updated at the situation evolves.
BEFORE YOU GO
IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL RIGHT NOW?
Travel always comes with some risks, but the pandemic certainly changed things. Vaccinations, onboard protocols, and other safety measures have certainly made it easier to travel with reduced risk. While many of our clients have begun travelling or are planning vacations in the near future, but this is a personal decision you and your family need to decide.
WHAT ARE THE COVID-19 REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COUNTRY YOU ARE VISITING?
From England to Mexico to Singapore, every destination has different requirements for Canadians looking to visit. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the destination you’re interested in. Do you have to be vaccinated to visit? Which vaccines do they recognize? Will you have to quarantine upon arrival and for how long? You don’t want any surprises when you arrive, luggage in hand.
HAVE YOU REGISTERED WITH TRAVEL.GC.CA?
While this is not required, registration of Canadians Abroad is a free service that allows the Government of Canada to notify you in case of an emergency abroad or a personal emergency at home. Registration is pretty simple and you can do it here. When the pandemic first hit, this service was essential in helping the government locate Canadians abroad and get in touch with them to offer assistance to get them home.
WHILE YOU'RE AWAY
DO YOU REALLY KNOW WHAT TRAVEL INSURANCE COVERAGE YOU HAVE?
Review any travel insurance policies you may have, either through your life insurance provider, work, or your credit cards. It might be a good time to also consider insurance on your flights, since there is a greater risk of them being cancelled.
Manulife is currently the only Canadian provider offering COVID-19 Pandemic insurance. It can help you pay for treatment if needed while you’re away, as well as help you get back home. If you are interested in adding more protection for you and your family, talk to us about getting very affordable COVID insurance before your departure.
CAN YOU STAY SAFE WHILE TRAVELLING?
The risk is always present, but there are ways to minimize it. Wear a mask whenever possible and wash your hands often, as you do at home. Doing as much as outdoors as possible helps. (Choose a destination with a warm climate.) Dining on patios, visiting beaches, and taking nature excursions are ways to have amazing experiences without lots of chances for exposure. Avoiding big crowds and indoor events is advisable for now.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR RE-ENTRY INTO CANADA?
When returning to Canada, you will need to provide a negative PCR test from the country you are visiting. The test must have been administered within 72 hours of your arrival. So, for example if you arrive at 2pm on Wednesday, your test must be administered by Sunday at 2pm. (Take into account how long it will take you to get your test results.) Antigen tests are currently not accepted upon arrival in Canada.
DOES YOUR HOTEL OR RESORT OFFER A PCR TESTING FACILITY?
Many hotels and resorts are making life a little easier for guests by having onsite testing facilities. We can help you find accommodations that offer these testing services.
If you’re staying in accommodations that don’t offer this service, you will have to get testing done by a laboratory in that area. Be careful though—not all labs offer testing that meets Canada’s requirements. We can help you find one that does!
DO YOU HAVE THE ARRIVCAN APP LOADED?
In order to gain re-entry into Canada without quarantining, you will have to show that you have downloaded the ArriveCan App on your smart phone, and that you have uploaded documentation of two doses of an approved vaccine at least two weeks before landing in Canada.
You may be required to show the ArriveCan at the airport you are departing from, as well, before you can be checked in for your flight.
If you do not have the ArriveCan app and proper documentation when you arrive in Canada, you will be required to quarantine in a government-mandated hotel for up to two weeks, at your expense.
DO I HAVE TO QUARANTINE WHEN I COME HOME?
If you meet all of the requirements (negative PCR test, ArriveCan App, and two vaccine doses), you will most likely not have to quarantine.
If you do not meet all of the requirements, you may be required to quarantine in at home for up to two weeks and take an at-home test.
I AM TRAVELING WITH KIDS. WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW/DO?
Again, entry requirements vary by country, so do your research (or get us to help) to find out what the rules are for children.
Children under 12 years are not required to be vaccinated to return to Canada.
MORE QUESTIONS? Having a travel professional from Gravitate looking out for you before, during and after your travel can help.