Summer road trips an option to explore Saskatchewan during coronavirus pandemic

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people can use their summer holidays to explore Saskatchewan and other parts of Canada with a road trip. File Photo / Getty Images

Planning a road trip within Saskatchewan could be a great way away and experience a change of scenery this summer amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic.

A recent national survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Toyota Canada, shows this year’s family vacation may look a little different, with 74 per cent of Canadians having changed their 2020 summer travel plans due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Read more: Coronavirus: Airline passengers on 3 flights to YVR should monitor for symptoms

According to the poll, only 24 per cent of Canadians said they’d feel comfortable taking a plane this summer while 70 per cent comfortable travelling by car.

Barb Crowe, the president of Ixtapa Travel in Saskatoon, thinks this is the summer of road trips and is trying it out for herself.

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“In June, took the opportunity to head up to Prince Albert National Park and stay in the park for summer solstice. I stayed at the suites at Waskesiu… great hospitality and heading up to Candle Lake Golf Resort in July,” she said.

“And then if all goes well, up to (Churchill River Voyageur Lodge) in northern Saskatchewan in August. So it’s not busy, that’s for sure.

“So it’s a great opportunity just to even explore our own province. I know some people who are heading out to Cypress Hills and doing some travelling down there.” 

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Crowe said self-drive experiences within Canada are catching on in her line of work.

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“We don’t really sell a lot of travel within our own country, let alone our own province so it’s been fun. It’s been a bit of a learning curve for us to help people make some plans just to sort of stay a little bit closer to home and we know that’s the thing,” she said.

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“I think it’s a really great opportunity to explore our own country here.”

Read more: Coronavirus quarantine order for travellers entering Canada extended to Aug. 31

The poll showed that residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba were the most relaxed about venturing farther from home, with 48 per cent saying they’d feel very comfortable travelling out of province.

Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab stressed just before Canada Day to keep principles that flatten the curve in mind if travelling inter-provincially.

“There is no recommendation against travel out of province. There was a recommendation that said ‘avoid non-essential travel,’” he said.

“If you do decide to travel to another part within the province or another province, understand what’s the situation there in terms of transmission risk… Be prepared if, in the rare occasion, you test positive for COVID, to stay home for another two weeks.

“The recommendation really is enjoy the summer closer to home this year.”

In the survey, 94 per cent of Canadians planning a road trip said they’ll be taking extra precautions to protect both themselves and those around them from COVID-19.

Market research company Ipsos said it polled 2,001 Canadian adults between June 16 and 19, which it said has a margin of error of +/- 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here. 

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