Thanks to the pandemic, travel plans across the globe have been shot. This has many turning their attention to domestic travel. Before you pack up the car and hit the road, there are a few important Canada travel restrictions you should know about. Read on to ensure your trip is safe and not unexpectedly cut short.
Not All Provinces and Territories Are Open to Tourists
Although it is well known that the Canadian border is closed to non-essential travel from the USA, it’s not well known that domestic travel has plenty of restrictions as well. With a little digging on Destination Canada’s Covid-19 research page, there is some helpful info broken down by province and territory.
The Western Provinces
British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, are now open for domestic visitors. No self-isolation or Canada travel restrictions for visiting Canadians. Manitoba is open to neighbouring regions only. All others require 14-day self-isolation. Also, note the highway checkpoints and restrictions to northern communities.
Now just because Western Canada is lax on restrictions doesn’t mean that they are not taking the situation seriously. I know personally of one story where a friend in BC tried to pass off her new American boyfriend’s visit as work-related. This was incredibly stupid and selfish. I am happy to report that Canadian border agents sent him home.
Then there were the fines handed out to Americans on their way to/from Alaska. Although they can pass through, they can not stop for some sightseeing in Banff National Park. ?♂️
Ontario and Quebec
Similar to Saskatchewan west, Ontario and Quebec do not have any restrictions for domestic travellers.
The Atlantic provinces are where domestic travellers will have to think twice…unless you live in the region. As of July 3rd, residents of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edwar Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador can visit each other’s provinces without restrictions. All other Canadians travelling for pleasure will be subject to 14-day self-isolation.
A step further than the Maritimes, the Yukon, NWT and Nunavut have all but shut down their borders to non-essential travel, even for Canadians. Given the numerous isolated towns spread across the north, it is completely understandable. Should there be an outbreak in a remote community it would be both hard to contain and hard to support.
As of July 1st, the Yukon has extended its bubble to BC residents. This means no 14-day self-isolation for me. Time for a return to Dawson City!
- READ MORE: 5 Reasons to Visit Yellowknife in the Fall
Where to Sleep?
Many Canadians are focusing there travel energy on finding a campsite. Understandably, they are in high demand. Still, hotels are opening up across the country. Following strict cleaning and social distance guidelines, staying in a hotel is not a high-risk as long as you limit your interactions with staff and other guests.
That said, it is best to plan ahead. Book your accommodations in advance and check their website for Covid-19 related policies and restrictions. You may find that facilities like gyms and pools will be closed. Same with dine-in restaurants.
What To Do?
Even if you are visiting a province that has no restrictions or self-quarantining in place, you may find that there is not a lot to do when it comes to tourist activities. Please consult the region’s policies on what phase they are currently in and what is opened. Also, call any tour companies or attractions in advance to better understand their own policies.
To be safe, I would focus on outdoor activities. Focus on nearby outdoor attractions and historical sites. Many Canadian cities offer great walking tours and there are no shortages of incredible natural beauty in this country.
What To Bring?
It has been widely covered that masks help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Be respectful of the city or place you are visiting and wear a mask while in close quarters or indoors.
Besides that, I would treat your domestic road trip the same as a trip to the local grocery store – limit touching things, wear gloves if you have them, and bring hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your face and wash your hands thoroughly.
My Summer Road Trip Plans
With my updated trip around the world in jeopardy, I am now planning to hit the road this fall with an epic trip across Canada! My current plan is to fly to the East Coast (hello lobster rolls), pick up my brand new Tesla Model Y, and make my way home…slowly. This, of course, is dependent on the Maritime provinces opening up their bubble to the rest of Canada. Things are trending in that direction so fingers crossed this happens soon. Stay tuned and please follow along through myevtrips.com and all its new social media channels!
What say you?
Thoughts on these Canada Travel Restrictions?
Let’s hear it!
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