Trevor Kucheran, January 30, 2021 Travel Off Path.Com
Some Canadians have decided they're still going to travel south to sunny destinations and have re-booked their flights with U.S. airlines.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced yesterday that flights from Canada to sunny vacations destinations would be suspended effective Sunday, January 31st. The announcement was made in cooperation with the four major airlines in Canada that fly internationally.
However there were no suspensions announced on flights to and from the United States. Therefore the ban does not stop Canadians from flying to the U.S. and then on sunny destinations such as Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
United States airlines including American and United both have flights from Canada to all of the sunny destinations that Canadian airlines can no longer fly to. This has lead to Canadians booking their trips directly with U.S. airlines for flights with one stopover in the United States.
Samuel from Calgary Alberta, (who did not want his last name mentioned), told Travel Off Path that he would still be flying to Cancun in February. “My flight with WestJet was cancelled so I just booked with United,” he explained.
“I have a stop over in Denver and then fly to Cancun. I am building my retirement home there so I need to go and check on it.”
While Canadians will still be able to fly with U.S. airlines to sunny destinations, they wont be able to bypass the hotel quarantine when they return home.
Hotel Quarantine For Canadians Returning From Abroad
In his press conference, Justin Trudeau also outlined plans for a mandatory hotel quarantine for all Canadian travelers returning from International travel. Travelers will be required to stay in a supervised hotel quarantine until negative results from a Covid-19 PCR test come back. The hotel quarantine is expected to last 3 days if a traveler tests negative and could cost up to $2000.
The hotel quarantine is to be implemented “as soon as possible in the coming weeks” according to the Canadian Prime Minister.
For most Canadians, the extra stopover in the United States and the high cost of hotel quarantine will be enough to keep them at home. The United States also requires proof of a negative Covid-19 test to enter the country so Canadians would also need a negative Covid-19 test when departing. Those that are set on taking their vacations and have the means to do so will still be able to visit sunny destinations through U.S. airlines.
U.S. Airlines Could Benefit From Canada's Ban On Sunny Destinations
For Canadian airlines, the international ban on sunny destinations is another blow to an already financially difficult time due to the pandemic. Canadians traveling for more essential reasons such as business and reuniting with family, or those choosing to still vacation in the suspended destinations will have no choice but to book through U.S. airlines.
Sunny Destinations Canadian Airlines Are Suspended From Flying
All four Canadian airlines have cancelled all flights to destinations that are considered ‘sunny vacation destinations'. Canadian airlines are no longer permitted to fly to the following destinations between January 31st through at least April 30th.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Liberia, Costa Rica
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Aeromexico Suspends All Flights To Canada
While U.S. airlines are still flying in and out of Canada, Mexico's national airline Aeromexico has suspended all flights starting the second week of February.
Vancouver: Suspended February 10 – April 30
Montreal: Suspended February 10 – April 30
Toronto: Suspended February 8 – April 30
When this was first announced, many Canadians did not realize that ‘sunny destinations' does not include the United States. While flights were suspended to many vacation destinations, they were not suspended to Covid-19 hotspots such as Florida.
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Jim Hepple is an Assistant Professor at the University of Aruba and is Managing Director of Tourism Analytics.