New travel rules are a welcome change for those abroad
OTTAWA -- It has been a long time coming for Canadians and permanent residents wishing to travel outside of the country.
Karam Ramotar lives in Ottawa, but often travels to Guyana to visit family.
“I think the idea of quarantining for three days in a hotel was serving absolutely no useful purpose,” says Ramotar.
As of July 5, those Canadians who are out of the country and fully vaccinated, like Ramotar, can return to Canada with eased restrictions.
They will no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days or stay in a quarantine hotel upon arrival.
Ramotar says the new rules will save him, and all fully vaccinated travellers, time and money.
“Taking away the quarantine is a good thing,” says Ramotar. “It makes life a lot easier for travellers coming in. They get tested at the airport and they're good to go.”
Canadians will need to provide proof of vaccination with an app called ArriveCAN, and have a digital or paper copy of their vaccination forms.
They’ll also have to take a COVID-19 test before leaving the country, and when coming back home.
Elaine Simpson is a travel agent with Algonquin Travel Gloucester. She says phones are already starting to ring off the hook. According to search data from Expedia, following Monday’s announcement, they saw an 80 per cent increase in international hotel searches week over week.
“I think this is the carrot that has been dangled for us and this is our get out of jail free card now,” says Simpson. “The last six months have certainly picked up because I think people realized that demand is going to exceed supply.”
Kathleen Logan just recently made plans to visit her daughter in the UK, who just had her first baby. She was previously putting off the trip because of the hotel quarantine.
“It’s been really hard for her to have this wonderful joyous occasion, and not be able to celebrate it in person,” says Logan.
Logan has been fully vaccinated for weeks, and being able to travel with fewer restrictions is welcome news.
“We’re really excited about this,” says Logan. “This is a long time coming. We’ve had to cancel other travel plans, that's okay, but this one, seeing my granddaughter for the first time, that’s special.”
For those on the fence about the vaccine, Simpson says this could be what finally changes their mind.
“If anything, I think that will entice anybody who may be hesitating, that could give that little added push to get that double vaccination, if they want to travel.”