Every little thing to contemplate as a Canadian booking journey in 2021
Traveling is not the same thing and you need to be prepared.
If you are wondering when it is safe to travel again, you are far from being alone.
If it is safe to travel again, some changes need to be considered. If you’ve had to fly anywhere recently, you probably already know some of them.
Earlier this month, Transportation Secretary Marc Garneau issued an injunction formalizing the new COVID-19 testing requirements for all air travelers coming to Canada.
Now anyone flying to Canada must provide the airline with negative evidence of a negative laboratory test result for COVID-19 before boarding.
However, since this is the beginning of the program, there are some exceptions for travelers from some countries who need time for the testing systems to adapt.
For example, travelers departing from Saint Pierre et Miquelon are exempt from the requirement to demonstrate a negative COVID-19 test until January 14th, and travelers departing from Haiti by January 21, 2021 are strongly encouraged to receive a COVID-19 test once they arrive in Canada. Travelers departing from the Caribbean or South America can use tests performed within 96 hours of departure (instead of 72 hours) by January 14, 2021.
Regardless, these exemptions are time-limited and all travelers should consider how they intend to demonstrate this test before booking their book tickets and what their insurance covers.
What you need to know before you go
Do you dream of surf, sand and fun in the sun?
Now is probably not the best time to escape to a tropical destination, no matter how tempting a vacation feels.
While there is currently no law against traveling outside Canada during the pandemic, the federal government says you should avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.
InsuranceHotline.com insurance expert Anne Marie Thomas told Vancouver Is Awesome in a phone interview that there are a few things to consider before booking your next trip, whether for essential purposes or not.
For one thing, Thomas emphasizes that you should never assume this when booking travel insurance. In other words, just because the word “all-inclusive” is in the title doesn’t mean you are covered for anything under the sun. The devil is in the details so you want to make sure everything is considered.
“Travel insurance really is designed for the unexpected. Nobody’s going to break their leg. So that’s unexpected. So a travel insurer pays to have your leg repaired,” she explains.
“But COVID-19? This comes as no surprise to anyone. When you travel, you knowingly put yourself at risk.”
While several travel insurers offer COVID-19 coverage, not all of them do. However, Thomas adds to be careful with some of the plans they offer. Since the beginning of the pandemic, numerous companies have lowered their prices and are offering COVID-19 coverage at a reduced price. However, many of the plans only cover up to $ 100,000 for COVID-19 coverage, which may not be enough.
“If you land on a ventilator, $ 100,000 might not get you very far,” she notes.
Another consideration, Thomas explains, is that travel requirements change so frequently and most travel insurers don’t cover them right away. However, coverage will vary depending on who you’ve booked with and which policy you’ve chosen: “It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.”
First and foremost, Thomas says, “If it’s not strictly necessary, don’t go. It’s a non-essential travel guide.”
If you want to travel despite this advice, the Government of Canada highlights the following:
- You may have difficulty obtaining important products and services
- You may have limited access to timely and adequate health care
- You may suddenly face severe restrictions on movement and quarantines in certain facilities and at your own expense
- Your insurance may not cover your travel or medical expenses
- We may have limited capacity to provide you with consular services
If you can book a trip, Thomas says it’s okay to book several months later. However, you should make sure that you have the appropriate insurance policy in case you need to cancel.
Travel province to province in Canada
If you leave your province, you’ll need travel insurance too, says Thomas.
BC residents are strongly encouraged to purchase supplemental health insurance when traveling to other Canadian provinces to cover the cost of services not included in the mutual agreement between the provinces.
When purchasing travel insurance, it is recommended that you take out insurance that covers the additional costs of medical and hospital care, as well as provincial services not insured outside of BC, such as prescription and ambulance services, and transportation back to BC