Fully vaccinated Canadians who take advantage of upcoming changes to international travel rules should be prepared and be patient when embarking on their trips, according to a hospitality expert.
“It’s going to be a bit more time-consuming, it’s going to be a bit more complicated,” said Frederic Dimanche, the director of Ryerson University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.
“It’s going to be up to the airlines to say, ‘Where are you coming from? Do you have the necessary paperwork? Do you have the necessary PCR test?’”
Even with the extra hassle, many Canadians are considering taking a trip, both domestically and abroad, as COVID-19 health restrictions are expected to ease. Global News received inquiries from viewers and readers on the topic, and we posed them to experts in the field.
Do children who are not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine need to quarantine after returning from a trip abroad?
Children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine and will need to quarantine for 14 days upon returning home from an international trip, according to the federal government.
“Undoubtedly this will be challenging for families who want to travel,” said Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu, when announcing Canada’s first phase in easing its border measures.
“They can quarantine at home and obviously this is with the lens of ensuring that any unvaccinated traveller that potentially is infected with COVID-19 is taking the appropriate public health measures to protect the community in which they arrive.”
Will Albertans need a COVID-19 vaccine to visit British Columbia?
British Columbia is still in stage two of its restart plan, which only allows recreational travel within the province. However, government officials say they do not plan to make vaccines mandatory for out-of-province travellers in the future.
“While we work with the federal government on a vaccine passport for international travel, the province is not considering a passport for inter-provincial travel,” the B.C. Ministry of Health said in a statement.
“Inter-provincial recreational travel may reopen once we move to step 3 of our restart plan.“
University of Calgary assistant law professor Lorian Hardcastle said she didn’t expect any Canadian province to make vaccines mandatory for travel within the country.
“There are constitutionally-protected mobility rights, there are also constitutional rights that deal with autonomy to make medical decisions,” said Hardcastle.
“A province would be very hard pressed to limit those constitutional rights by prohibiting travel for those who aren’t vaccinated.”
Will airlines use ticket prices to make up for lost revenue?
It’s no secret that Canada’s airlines have seen their finances take a hit during the pandemic as demand dropped off significantly. Dimanche said airlines will “obviously” use ticket prices to try to recover, but it will depend on how many people want to fly.
“They have to make money; they haven’t been making money for a year and a half. They have been in a disaster situation like everyone else in travel and tourism,” said Dimanche.
“It’s called flexible pricing for a reason. As demand goes up, prices will go up, until a point of equilibrium where the airlines will realize at this price maybe demand will start going down again and that will be the maximum.”
Dimanche noted that there are still ticket discounts for travellers hoping to visit some international destinations, but they may not last long.
“The airlines are using those pricing tactics to not only increase demand in terms of buying, but also I think they want to make people realize that it’s ok to travel again,” Dimanche said.
“They want people to start thinking of going into a plane, going into an airport.”
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