COVID-19 - Your Questions Answered

Posted by Kemi Wells · Jun 25 · about Before your trip

You might be dreaming about your next trip but still have many travel questions on your mind? To help we’ve answered some of the most commonly asked COVID-19 queries. It’s important you have all the information you need to make the right decisions for you.

As the world begins to open up (albeit very slowly), it is critical that everyone takes personal responsibility for your own health at home and when you travel. Specifically:

  1. Do not travel if you feel unwell;
  2. Adhere to physical distancing guidelines;
  3. Wear a mask when in public;
  4. Wash your hands!

More than ever, we believe in the value of working with a professional travel advisor. We are here to guide you through the complexities to make the travel planning and experience in destination, as smooth as possible.

What are quarantine hotels?

These are hotels that are being used to keep travellers entering the country under lockdown. Depending on your destination, you may be required to stay in a quarantine hotel for a period of time. In some instances travellers must stay in a quarantine hotel for 24 hours while they wait for their health tests to come back. If negative they are allowed to move onto their intended destination. If positive they may be required to remain in the quarantine hotel for up to two weeks. We can help guide you through the information so you are fully informed before making any purchase decisions.

What is a staycation?

A staycation is simply a domestic holiday. It means taking a break without leaving the country. In some countries staycations are more popular than travelling abroad. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic more people have been looking at staycations until they feel confident to travel internationally again. We have been booking lots of clients for stays in Whistler or on the Island. Please let us know if you would like help securing great accommodation. We often have access to extra perks you can’t get if booking yourself.

When can I travel again?

After many weeks of uncertainty, there’s good news for travellers as many countries have once again reopened their borders to international tourism. This means you can travel now if you want to with the caveat that your choice of destinations is smaller than before. Visit the Canada government’s foreign travel advice website to see which destinations are open and what restrictions might still apply. The decision to travel is always a personal one, but working with an advisor can ensure you have an advocate to help you navigate the ever increasing complex landscape. Please note, at the time of writing, Canada does still have the Level 4 “Avoid all non-essential travel” warning still in place. There are some intra-provincial travel restrictions but here in British Colombia we are in Phase 3 of our localized recovery plan where local travel is now allowed and encouraged to support our tourism industry.

Is it safe to fly?

The situation is constantly changing, so we suggest working with a travel advisor and checking the latest government advice before deciding whether or not to travel. If you do decide to travel then take comfort in the fact that airlines and airports have introduced an abundance of new measures to keep travellers safe on their journey. It’s also recommended that you take plenty of personal protective equipment with you to reduce the risks associated with flying during coronavirus. Our key partners Air Canada and Westjet have released videos highlighting their commitment to the enhanced health and safety protocols.

What are “travel bubbles” and “travel corridors” and what do they mean for international holidays?

Travel bubbles, also called “travel corridors” or “air bridges” will allow travellers passage between two or more countries without the need to quarantine. However, anyone entering from outside of the bubble will still need to quarantine for up to 14 days.

Where might “travel corridors” open in the near future?

Australia and New Zealand have held their own “travel bubble” talks. China is considering allowing Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea into its travel bubble, while Israel is considering quarantine-free travel with Greece and Cyprus. The European Union are in active talks and some announcements have been made.

Where can I travel right now as a Canadian?

The Canadian Travel & Tourism Board created a great interactive map that identifies where you can travel to within Canada and internationally and what restrictions apply: https://time-to-travel.ca/where-canadians-can-travel-now/

What protection is there in place for holiday bookings going forward? What should I be looking for?

Many providers have introduced flexible booking policies for future travel. When working with an advisor they will be sure to highlight these during the booking process.

Travel insurance is more important than ever, so it is advised to ensure that any existing policy you have in place covers you for the travel you are looking to book, as this may have changed. If you don’t have coverage in place you should ensure you do before booking any future trips, also taking extra care to be sure that the policy covers you for travel to your desired destination. We can help you with this.

It’s also advisable to check any consular and repatriation agreements between your home country and the country you want to visit. In some cases, countries might not have official measures in place to ensure you can return quickly from your place of travel if there is an emergency.

Does insurance cover COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

Travel insurance policies are all different, so you are advised to check with your travel insurance provider for details on whether or not your insurance policy covers issues related to COVID-19. If you previously purchased insurance for a trip that was suspended or cancelled, or if you want to purchase a new trip, your travel advisor can talk through the specific options relative to your situation. At North South Travel we use Manulife, one of the world’s leading insurance providers.

Would you recommend booking a fall or winter trip now?

Research is showing that searches for flights towards the end of the year have surged 30% in the past three weeks, as people longing for a break overseas dream of a “bucket list” vacation. Ultimately, it is a personal choice of whether now feels like the right time to start thinking about a trip. If you are looking to plan, our advisors are ready and waiting to help you navigate through the process. Many airlines and hotels are adopting flexible booking policies to enable our clients to plan a future trip. For many, having something to look forward to helps us stay positive during this time.

This page was last updated on 25th June 2020. To our knowledge, the information on this page was correct at the time of publication. However, given the nature of the COVID-19 crisis, the information will vary by location and change at short notice and over time. We will do our best to keep this page up-to-date, however, this cannot be guaranteed.

This page has been created for general guidance only and has not been designed for you or any specific circumstances relevant to you. It is highly recommended that you check your government’s latest travel advice before travelling or making any decisions to travel.

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