February 26, 2021

Snowstorms in an infectious hot seat with Canada’s latest travel rules

VANGOORE – The latest rules for travelers to Canada are scattering feathers amid winter blizzards south of the border, while homeowners are wondering why thousands chose to travel during epidemics.

Valerie Crookes, Canada’s head of research at Health Service Geography, said access to the same public health information was available to all, and that snowblowers in the south had “done what they felt was permissible”.

There are no barriers to travel, and Crooks, a professor at Simon Fraser University who says glaciers don’t think of themselves as vacationers, has been doing research with snow communities in Florida and Arizona for years.

“They see this as part of their lifestyle or lifestyle,” he said, adding that glaciers are migratory for a long time and are used to factor in health factors in their decision making.

Some snowstorms feel like delayed government communication of travel hangs over them during epidemics, Crookes said, as the stringent requirements apply to anyone coming to Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said anyone arriving in Canada this week should present negative COVID-19 test results starting Monday. Those who do not have the required test results can be fined up to $ 3,000.

Passengers arriving by air must show the results of a molecular (PCR) test no later than three days from the last month.

An additional requirement from the Canadian Snowboard Association is that passengers must undergo a second inspection and stay in a hotel for three days upon arrival, waiting for results, each priced at $ 2,000.

In a recent letter to the federal transport minister, President Karen Houstis wrote that the cost of hotel accommodation is causing a financial crisis for many and that negative testing passengers can be isolated in their homes.

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Those coming to Canada by land do not have to be isolated in a hotel.

It is currently unclear when flights will begin on flights near one of the four Canadian airports that accept international flights to Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. Hotels had until Wednesday to apply to be one of those on the list of incoming travelers to choose from.

The chance of being isolated in a hotel initially sent some blizzards to Canada, while others took their chances or stayed south.

Dr Morley Rubinoff, 71, said he left his condo in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, six weeks earlier this year to avoid being called “Hotel Hell.”

The semi-retired dentist said he arrived in Mexico on December 31 and planned to stay until mid-March before returning to Toronto.

Rubinoff said he “constantly” wears a mask and has very little contact with anyone while in Mexico and keeps him away from tourists at nearby resorts.

“We are not the same,” he said, adding that he has permanent residency in Mexico.

Rubinoff said the latest travel rules are mainly aimed at preventing short trips for vacationers during the holidays in February and March, while snowstorms should be recognized as a separate group.

Denise Dumont, a Canadian full-time resident of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Echoed Rubinoff, saying snowstorms “do not act like regular spectators.”

“I don’t think it’s fair to treat them like a simple spectator going on an all-inclusive two-week vacation in Mexico,” said Dumont, editor-in-chief of Le Soleil de la Florite online. Francophone news in Florida.

Dumont wants an exemption from hotel stays so that snowstorms can return to Canada with evidence of a negative COVID-19 test and vaccination against the disease.

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Toronto-based insurance broker Martin Firestone said he had been advised against traveling during epidemics, but more than a thousand of his ski customers are overseas, all of whom oppose hotel isolation.

One-third of its customers moved south in November, and hundreds more were induced in Florida in January by accessing the Covid-19 vaccine for people 65 and over, although Firestone is careful not to “vaccinate tourists among its own property there.”

He noted that some of Firestone’s customers are expanding their travel insurance in the hope that they will return to Canada when the travel rules are relaxed, but Canadians can only stay in the United States for 182 days a year before being taxed or having their Canadian health insurance. In danger.

“I’m very careful to tell all customers of the extension. If you landed in November, I have concerns that you may still be sitting there in May and June because you are waiting to avoid this three day hotel thing.”

He also worries customers who purchase travel insurance to cover treatment in the event of an illness or injury unrelated to COVID-19, which may face extended hospitalization of resources due to infection.

There are many reasons behind the snow birds’ decision to travel to warmer climates each year, including during epidemics, Crookes said.

“You talk to a lot of people about things like advanced arthritis symptoms, even changes in the amount of medication needed.”

Others have planned their pension funds around “skiing” and the epidemic has not changed that budget reality, he said.

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He believes snowflakes are a unique group that represents specific concerns about returning to Canada “with all the luggage” including “pets”.


This report of the Canadian edition was first published on February 12, 2021.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of Facebook and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.