I've noticed on this Travel Forum suggestions for planning travel to Canada in lieu of cancelled trips abroad due to the COVID-19 virus. Do you really want to chance adding to the immense healthcare challenges during a pandemic that has spread over several continents? I'm here to suggest that you please stay home for the time being!
As a fellow traveller (and Canadian who lives in a province with confirmed cases of this contagious virus), why would you even think that it would be a good idea for family travel from the USA to Canada at this time?
Please know that, to date, all of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in my province are travel-related.
For example, travellers had returned from the United States and other countries, and not just on cruise ships.
A two-year-old toddler in Calgary tested positive for the virus days after returning from Florida (and an Ontario baby has also tested positive).
An Alberta hotel worker at a famous resort in the Canadian Rockies tested positive and is now in self-isolation.
Even the 44-year-old wife of Canada's Prime Minister is quarantined after returning home with virus symptoms following a high profile event in London UK a week earlier.
These are but a few of the examples mentioned in our daily Canadian updates. However, calls to our Health Link 24/7 phone lines have multiplied since early March.
Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health has advised NO non-essential travel for Canadians outside of Canada. Those who do travel across the border or internationally are to be prepared to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return. Many Canadian families are cancelling Spring Break travel and staying home --- airlines are busy dealing with cancelling flights and staff reductions. Travel options may become more limited (and some store shelves in Canada also have no toilet paper!).
Please refer to official health sources for up to date information on Canada.
Practice social distancing and help contain the virus spread so that we can all travel safely in the future. Be healthy everyone!
UPDATE 16 MARCH 2020: Since I first posted a few days ago, the Government of Canada is implementing new travel and international airport measures in response to COVID-19 effective Wednesday, 18 March 2020.
The details may be found in the following news release:
UPDATE 18 MARCH 2020: It's official - no recreational and tourism travel across the US-Canada border.
“Travellers will no longer be permitted to cross the border for recreation and tourism,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who finalized the agreement in a phone call earlier in the day with President Donald Trump.
Also, Parks Canada has closed visitor services in all of Canada's national parks and heritage sites.
Air Canada, WestJet and VIA Rail have cancelled and/or reduced passenger transportation.
UPDATE 7 APRIL 2020: Destination Canada links below for future travel plans to Canada.
Sadly, there have been thousands of hospitality industry layoffs in Canada, as well as business closures. Please stay home and be well!