As vaccination numbers continue to rise, so do travellers’ hopes of one day soon leaving the country.
Partially vaccinated and unvaccinated Canadians are still required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, which includes kids under 12 who aren’t eligible for the vaccine. However, kids can quarantine at home with fully-vaccinated parents, rather than a hotel.
Tina Bauer, who has an eight-year-old daughter, says the new border rules could potentially limit her family’s travel plans. She also says the rules send a mixed message.
“If (my daughter) is quarantining, I have to take care of her. But I can still go out,” Bauer said.
“I don’t completely understand that.”
Bauer says she has the ability to work from home, if her daughter has to quarantine. But she’s still on the fence about travelling with her.
On one hand, she says she has concerns about taking her out of country when she isn’t vaccinated. On the flip side, she’s still waiting for more vaccine research to be conducted in younger kids.
“This has been a long year for us. We’ve had to cancel so many trips,” Bauer said.
“Our life is basically travel. It’s our favourite thing to do.”
From New York to Costa Rica, Puerto Rico to Spain, and most recently Bali, the Bauers have travelled the world a few times.
Ultimately, Bauer doesn’t think the quarantine process will stop her from booking her family’s next trip — she’s already making plans for after she’s fully vaccinated next week.
But travel expert Marty Firestone says the quarantine rules for unvaccinated kids will deter most families from planning international vacations any time soon.
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“Travelling with children at the best of times is a difficult venture,” said Firestone, president of Travel Secure Inc.
“It’s going to get even more difficult now with the tests. They are required to wear masks, social distance and of course, keep them at home for 14 days when you get back.”
At the earliest, Firestone expects families will start travelling this fall. However, it won’t be until summer 2022 when most family vacations stretch beyond the Canadian border.
“You still can’t drive across the border for non-essential travel. So you’re not packing the car up with the kids and heading somewhere in the States,” Firestone said.
“Short of that, you’re flying and that becomes a whole set of new rules with kids.”
The federal government extended the Canada-U.S. border closure to most non-essential travel until at least July 21.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the country can start easing border measures now that more than 75 per cent of the population has their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and more than 20 per cent have received their second dose.
“We are looking at continuing our plan for gradual and safe reopening hopefully with more announcements in the coming weeks,” Trudeau said on Tuesday.
“I understand the impatience people have to get travelling again, but keeping Canadians safe has been and will continue to be our number one priority.”