Canadians keen to travel south amidst travel restrictions
As winter approaches, Canadian snowbirds are planning trips to southern regions with greater interest this year than last
Travel insurance experts say there is an increased travel demand from Canada compared to last year, even in the midst of the Delta variant spreading.
“There’s a pent-up demand for Canadians to travel outside of Canada, particularly to the US,” Pamela Kwiatkowski, Co-Founder and Vice President of Goose Insurance, told Global News. Since August, she added, they have seen increased activity with sales continuing to grow every day as Canadians plan and book their travel.
At the moment, Canadians can get to the US by air. However, the land border closure will remain in effect until at least 21 October. That creates issues for those who were hoping to drive down to sunny destinations to escape Canada’s harsh winter cold.
Travellers likely to wait until 21 October
Martin Firestone, a Toronto-based travel insurance broker, said his clients typically start making their way to Florida, Arizona, California or Texas in October and stay until April. However, this year they are unable to drive in their own cars – but are allowed to fly with 300 other people in an airplane.
“The bottom line is those who want to leave prior to 21 October are not going anywhere and they are going to now wait for the next 30 days and see what happens then,” Firestone told Global News. “The hopes of 90 per cent of the snowbirds returning down south may diminish down to 50 per cent if they can’t drive down and take their vehicles with them because I think for many it would be a very costly factor to follow up with any of the options.”
Currently, there is no vaccine requirement for air travellers to the US. But, starting in November, all passengers entering the US will need to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken at least 72 hours prior to boarding and certification of their double vaccination status.
Last year, ITIJ took a look at how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected Canadians’ travel insurance sentiment, and considers whether recent developments are likely to alter the travel habits of so-called ‘snowbirds’.