In a blog post over at Connection Tours, we are talking with travel agents about the huge demand we are seeing for 2022 and what it's been like to book and re-book our space (hotel space, airfare, guides, etc.).
It's been an interesting ride, and we're excited about the future - but none of these bookings will matter if we don't focus on the most important question:
When can we travel again?
And what will it be like when we can travel again?
Cue the Kokomo song.
This week, some exciting, albeit misconstrued news, after Canada's Health Minister Patty Hajdu confirmed that we could see an elimination of the three-day hotel stopover and a reduction of the 14-day hotel quarantine as soon as early July!
No, now, cue the Kokomo song.
Let's talk about what we know so far, and what is important to know in the weeks ahead.
^^^ On this day a year ago I was told I had to head home from Brussels. Coincidentally, it was to be my last trip with my old passport. We'd been through thick and thin together. I knew something big was happening, but who could have known the impact this selfie would carry a year later? This is part II of the "When can we travel again - A saga"
Reduced Quarantine for Fully Vaccinated Canadians
Canada’s travel restrictions will be loosened in phases based on the decline of Canada's Covid case numbers. All hinges on that.
It also hinges on being fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to travel (ie. have received 2 doses of Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca, or 1 dose of Johnson & Johnson)
Vaccinated air travellers won't need to partake in the three-day hotel quarantine (that comes at a significant cost) nor the 14-day quarantine at home. Instead, as long as they present a negative PCR test prior to their flight to Canada, as well as a negative PCR test upon arriving in Canada, the vaccinated traveller will be released from quarantine!
We are still waiting on more specific details about these phases, like the exact start date, and what the "vaccine passport" will look like, but we expect more news in the coming weeks.
When will our border re-open?
So this first phase only applies to fully vaccinated Canadian residents and essential workers, traveling from Canada.
But what about foreign visitors coming into Canada?
Canada must be preparing plans to restart tourism from other countries - our own Canadian travel industry needs this support - and as we strive for that 70% vaccination mark, this news must be coming soon.
The reopening of the US–Canada land border for example is also being closely watched -the current closure of the border is scheduled to last until June 21, 2021.
After that date, the land border will most likely re-open, especially given the vaccination ramp-ups in both Canada & the US. Still, the specs on what the Canada-US border travel regulations will look like when it does open are not yet known.
Currently, the border remains closed to US citizens, but Canadians can cross the border without restriction, as long as they quarantine for 14 days when they return to Canada.
We anticipate fully vaccinated travellers will also have a reduced quarantine – but will the land border reopen to only Canadians and Americans or to all vaccinated individuals?
The road to International Travel
Most Canadians are on track to receive their full doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this summer, so we can now begin looking at international travel as soon as July and August.
Since March 2020, there has been a 14-day quarantine in effect for all arriving back into Canada - and that has seriously slowed the demand on international travel, rightfully so.
The introduction of the three-day hotel quarantine in early 2021 only added to this deterrent.
But soon, those who travel internationally will be able to do so knowing that we’ll only need to quarantine at home for a day or two upon our return.
This isn't to say that we're back to normal yet, only a small fraction of the world has reopened to vaccinated travellers, and there’s still plenty of border controls, testing requirements, and the risk of incurring additional unforeseen costs in time or money along the journey - however - we're getting there!!
🔥 Getting Revenge 🔥
Relaxed travel restrictions are indeed scheduled for early July - again, this hinges on cases continuing to decline), and we do forsee a bit of a comeback to travel in the coming fall and winter months. Huzzah!
And now's the time to take ADVANTAGE! There are so many generous change and cancellation policies in place at the moment, with airfare and hotel desperate to get bookings in - now’s more than ever is the time to begin booking and planning your revenge travel plans.
The end result? Get vaccinated, and GET BOOKING
IATA - the International Air Transport Authority is pioneering a new app called the "Travel Pass" IATA has been working to seamlessly integrate this app with hotels, airlines, governments, and airports to allow vaccinated travellers to travel as freely as they did in the Before Times™.
^^^ Travel Week has started to prepare agents
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) The IATA Travel Pass https://www.iata.org/en/programs/passenger/travel-pass/
Some Other Great References
- Prince of Travel's
Travel During COVID-19: Resources & Information for Canadians princeoftravel.com/coronavirus/
- Globe & Mail March 19th Article on Revenge Travel theglobeandmail.com/life/travel/article-revenge-travel-is-coming-are-you-ready/
- DCI (Development Counsellors International) Tourism Research Report on Canadian Travel Behaviour after COVID https://aboutdci.com/services/tourism-research/