We all are preparing to travel again in 2022. Over at Connection Tours, we've been continually speaking with travel agents about the huge demand they are seeing for 2022.
I'm really excited about this update because it has been a while since our last posting!
So much has happened both here in Canada and around the world, as countries start thinking about how they can open up their borders to fully vaccinated travellers and compete for their business.
What a WILD RIDE we are on, am I right!?
Let's get to it.
^^^ In March 2020, I was told to head home from a conference setting up the Liberation 75 Tours in Brussels. Coincidentally, it was to be my last trip with my old passport. This is part IV of the "When can we travel again - A saga"
Updates with the Government of Canada
Government Travel Advisory Lifts!
The biggest news came 2 days ago!!!
The global advisory asking Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside the country was put in place in March 2020, and for 18 months we have waited.
On Oct 22nd, Canada quietly lifted this blanket advisory on their official website, travel.gc.ca.
Many in the industry have been quick to point out that Canada has been slower than many other countries to remove its blanket advisory against international travel, but historically, Canadian advisories have slowly followed behind. Very slowly, carefully, perhaps even painfully at times, behind IATA's average.
This doesn't apply to cruise travel yet, nor will it apply to individual country advisories, that will depend on that destination's unique COVID-19 risk profile.
What does that mean for you, my dear tour traveller?
The removal of the global travel advisory will make it easier for Canadians to acquire more affordable travel insurance plans, no doubt about it, but know that insurance companies will also be taking into account the destination you're travelling to.
For tour operators across Canada, this advisory lift means we can safely operate tours again with Canadian assurances and licensed support, and that's a big deal.
So we're celebrating this great step forward this week and looking forward to having our 2022 tour year moving forward as planned.
However, there are still, as always, many additional regulations and requirements to keep in mind as we uncover this saga! I have no doubt there is more news to come, my friends.
New Proof of Vaccination Requirement
The Canadian Government also announced that proof of vaccination will be required as of October 30th 2021, to travel by air, rail or cruise on any Canadian carrier, on any service both within and departing the country.
This is going to apply to all flights within Canada and international flights, you'll need to show proof that you're fully vaccinated.
The only exceptions will be for specific cases of emergency travel, those who are medically unable to be vaccinated, those who live in small remote communities, and those who are under the age of 12.
This new proof of vaccination requirement is definitely rather strict compared to other country requirements at the moment, but it does make those Canadian carriers much safer to travel on.
For Canadians who have chosen not to get vaccinated, their movement will be severely restricted for the immediate future.
How will this vaccine passport be implemented and enforced?
A great question!
A joint partnership between all provinces and territories is working together to develop a digital and secure way to recognize full vaccination for both domestic and international travel. This nationwide Canadian passport was first announced in August and is still being developed. We should get some more details by the end of November.
What about Canadians returning home?
You'll still need a negative PCR test to return to Canada, either by land or by air - however, these tests are getting increasingly easier to acquire. For example, both France & Saskatchewan offer free PCR tests now, so for me, the barriers of entry between the two easy to navigate.
Countries re-opening around the world
Let's start with the United Kingdom, which, about a month ago, added Canada to its green list of countries who can enter without quarantine.
More recently (like, just this past week) the UK abandoned its old traffic light system of "Red Light!" / "Green Light!" completely.
Now, the UK maintains a list of countries accepted, and as long as you are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines the UK approves of (which includes a mix of vaccines, like those we've had given in Canada 👍 ) you can enter the UK without quarantine, nor will you have to to take a test before entering. You still need to take a test on or before day 2 of your arrival but as long as you test negative, you are good to go!
As of earlier this year, most of Europe has already been open to Canadians - the UK being one of the last major countries to open to us.
Now, as of last week, Europe is finally very much open to us Canadians who are fully vaccinated and longing for an international getaway.
What about Asia?
Thailand and Singapore represent some of the first Asian destinations to open up to foreign travellers again, and it will be for the first time in 18 months. We hope this trend can continue into the rest of the year so that many of us Canadian travellers who have missed the Asian Pacific can get back to the communities, people, food, history, and land that we have come to know and love so much. Our good friend Ricky over at The Prince of Travel can give you the rundown on all the travel requirements you need to know for Thailand & Singapore.
HA! We have no conclusion on this saga yet dear friends, but we are certainly celebrating this week.
The end result? Get vaccinated, stay vigilant, stay safe, and get excited!
With this overwhelming good news, now more than ever, it's important to start planning your 2022 plans now before trips book up. You can go to thebattlefieldtours.com/tours for more info.
^^^Travel Week's Preparations
We'll be back with a continuation of this saga in the coming weeks - head to www.thebattlefieldtours.com/subscribe to subscribe for our weekly updates.
(1) Government of Canada Travel Advisories Website https://travel.gc.ca/ (2) CBC Canada quietly lifts blanket travel advisory related to COVID-19 https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-travel-international-covid-advisory-1.6220428
(3) IATA https://www.iata.org/
Some Other Great References
- Prince of Travel's
Travel During COVID-19: Resources & Information for Canadians princeoftravel.com/coronavirus/
- Travel Off Path Countries that have reopened for Canadians https://www.traveloffpath.com/countries-that-have-reopened-for-canadian-tourists/
- DCI (Development Counsellors International) Tourism Research Report on Canadian Travel Behaviour after COVID https://aboutdci.com/services/tourism-research/