Canada’s announcement that fully vaccinated Canadian travellers can skip quarantine upon their return has inspired some people to start making travel plans.
But before packing your bags, take note that the pandemic isn’t over — and there are still travel rules in place that could affect your trip.
“Travel isn’t quite the same as pre-COVID, and that’s just the reality moving forward for the foreseeable future,” said Claire Newell, owner of Travel Best Bets, a travel agency based in Burnaby, B.C.
Here’s what you should know before booking your long-awaited vacation.
COVID tests and vaccination requirements
Although vaccinated Canadian travellers are now exempt from quarantine, they’re still required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test before returning to Canada and must take a second test upon arrival.
Travellers must arrange and pay for their pre-arrival test, which could cost hundreds of dollars, depending on which country they are departing.
Some vacation destinations, such as the United States, Jamaica and Saint Lucia, also require travellers to provide proof of a negative test upon entry — including those who are vaccinated. So Canadians heading to such destinations must also pay to get a test before departing, which can cost upward of $100.
“It’s expensive for the current types of tests that are required pre-flight, that are at the passenger’s expense,” said Newell.