Everything You Need to Know About Travelling in Canada During Covid-19

Travel is looking a bit different these days with ever changing rules and restrictions, here's what to expect before you head off on your next trip.

A couple checks in to a hotel while wearing face masks

With so much uncertainty around potential new waves of Covid-19, travel is a bit more complicated these days. If you’re wondering about travelling within Canada—whether it’s a much-needed vacation or a chance to catch up with family across the country—here’s what you need to know before you go.

Interprovincial Travel

Each province and territory has its own travel rules in response to the pandemic, which are subject to change (especially if caseloads rise). Currently, Nunavut has a travel ban, the Atlantic provinces have their own bubble (though each province has slightly different exemptions), and Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia have no restrictions at all. Before you travel, check provincial government websites or this interactive map from the Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable for the latest updates.

Domestic Flights

Masks are required in public areas of most Canadian airports and on flights. Expect to see plexiglass barriers at check-in; physical distancing at check-in queues, security lineups and baggage halls; and self-serve bag drops with touchless technology. You’ll get a temperature check prior to boarding (and won’t be allowed to board if you show any symptoms of Covid-19). If you’re not wearing a mask, and don’t have a medical certificate stating that you cannot wear a mask for health reasons, you may also be denied boadring. Air Canada is offering new booking flexibility, while WestJet is allowing passengers to cancel or rebook with no penalty; keep in mind most airlines are no longer leaving the middle seat vacant.

Hotel Stays

Most hotels have developed new standards for sanitation (Marriott and the InterContinental Hotels Group are working with Ecolab, Hilton has partnered with the Mayo Clinic and Hyatt has teamed up with ISSA, a global cleaning industry association). In most cases, face coverings are required in common areas; guests can reduce contact at check-in through plexiglass barriers and touchless transactions (such as via a hotel’s mobile app).

Rental Cars

Car rental agencies have also rolled out new sanitation protocols for their fleets. Most are offering more flexibility when changing or cancelling a reservation (for example, if you don’t prepay for your online reservation, you won’t be charged a cancellation fee). However, some agencies have reduced their hours, locations or fleets.

Parks and Attractions

Canada’s national parks are reopening, but some trails, green spaces and day-use areas remain closed. For provincial parks, check local websites; some restrictions are still in place, and some facilities are closed or operating with limitations (such as washrooms). Only British Columbia residents can make camping reservations with B.C. Parks, for example. Many attractions are now open, though they may have timed tickets or other restrictions. Check their rules (and cancellation policies) before booking.

Although this information is accurate at press time, the situation is ever changing. Speak with your CAA Travel Consultant prior to your departure or visit the Government of Canada’s website for the most up-to-date travel restrictions and advice.

Ready to travel?

Talk to a CAA Travel expert who can help plan every aspect of your dream trip. And don’t forget to add travel insurance to safeguard your holiday. CAA has lots of plans to suit every travellers; see caasco.com/insurance/travel for more information.

Image credit: iStock.com/Space_Cat

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