Calling all travellers. If you were hoping to take an international vacation this summer, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to. This week, Air Canada revealed a brand new summer schedule, and there are so many countries on the list. That said, there’s still plenty of rules in place when it comes to international travel. Here’s exactly what you need to know before booking a vacation this summer.

The reduced Air Canada summer schedule still goes to 97 destinations, including popular tourist spots such as Tokyo, Paris, London, Zurich, Athens, Rome and Seoul. 

Many of these flights are currently scheduled to resume as early as June, leaving some Canadians wondering if they’ll be able to take an international summer vacation after all.

However, before you go and book the trip of your dreams, there are a few things to note, especially when considering travelling during the current health crisis.

The first thing to keep in mind is that there is currently a travel advisory in place in Canada against all non-essential international travel.

While this doesn’t explicitly prohibit you from travelling outside of the country, the recommendation is there to keep Canadians as safe as possible, and therefore vacations and trips should ideally be put on hold until it's lifted.

The advisory remains in place until further notice.

It’s also worth noting that if you choose to travel against government advice, you may struggle to claim on your insurance if you become ill, and it may be more difficult to return to Canada than usual.

As per current federal regulations, any returning travellers will also be required to self-isolate for two weeks, which means you'd need to take an additional 14 days off work for your trip.

That said, both the government's emergency orders under the Quarantine Act and the travel advisory could be lifted by the summer months, in which case these issues would no longer be a concern!

Until then, it's definitely worth keeping these things in mind.

It’s also important to check the COVID-19 regulations in any country that you intend to visit. Just because you can fly there, it doesn’t mean you won’t face entry requirements upon arrival.

For example, destinations like Iceland and St. Lucia will ask all travellers to get a COVID-19 test before entering the country, and you’ll have to prove that you’re not unwell upon arrival.

It’s also worth noting that if you’re found to have COVID-19 while abroad, you won’t be able to return to Canada until you’re feeling better, meaning you could have to pay out the big bucks to remain in international quarantine.

For those wanting to head to the U.S., it’s important to keep an eye on the Canada-U.S. border situation.

For now, the border remains closed to all tourists until at least June 21, but there’s a chance that this could be extended even further. There are no non-essential travel exceptions to this rule.

In the weeks prior to their summer schedule announcement, Air Canada revealed the new COVID-19 protocols they have implemented in their planes.

Passengers will now be required to wear face masks and will have their temperatures checked prior to boarding. Adjacent seats will also be blocked off so that customers can practice safe social distancing as much as possible.

If you are thinking of booking a vacation in the coming months, be sure to check your home and destination country’s travel advice, and be aware that many bookings at this time are subject to change, postponement and cancellation.

*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.

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