Here's What You Need To Know If You're Planning A Vacation In Canada This Summer
The rules are very different in each region!
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s becoming increasingly likely that some Canadians will be unable to take an international vacation this year. That said, this doesn’t mean your summer has to be cancelled. Canada is a vast, beautiful country, and there are so many places to visit and explore. If you’re considering taking a vacation in Canada this year, here's exactly what you need to know...
If you’re thinking about a cross-border trip in the True North this summer, in lieu of your international vacation, it’s important to remember that COVID-19 rules and regulations
This means that while it might be fine to socialize, visit restaurants and go hiking in some regions, this might not necessarily be the case in others.
Additionally, while some areto Canadian visitors, others are keeping a close eye on exactly who is coming and going.
With this in mind, it’s important to do your research before making plans to visit a new area, even if it is inside the same country.
So, whether you’re dreaming of completingexploring the nation’s capital, or venturing way up North to Nunavut, this is exactly what you need to know about visiting each province and territory right now.
It’s worth noting that the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve and develop, both within Canada and beyond, so be sure to find the most up-to-date local information before travelling to any new region.
According to the government’s website, Albertan locals are able to take part in “responsible travel to campgrounds, summer homes, cabins and cottages" right now.
While this means that residents are welcome to start exploring their own province, those from outside the region are not yet invited to enjoy the same areas.
Alberta hopes to beginin June. It remains to be seen whether this will be to all Canadians, or just to locals.
In B.C., COVID-19 restrictions are beginning to loosen, as restaurants, cafes, pubs, retail businesses, libraries, museums, parks and beaches.
It’s a promising sign for anybody hoping to visit the region this summer, but it’s best to wait for the official go-ahead from local authorities before making definite plans.
In Manitoba, checkpoints have been set up at provincial border crossings to inform people about COVID-19 risks. That said, there’s no official travel ban.
Starting this week, restrictions on public gatherings are being eased, and there are even more positive signs ahead.
Phase two, an exact date for which is yet to be announced, will include drive-in events restarting, restaurants and bars reopening at 50% capacity, and swimming pools and gyms opening up.
Right now, travel isn’t recommended, but there are promising signs that a summer vacation in Manitoba could be on the cards.
Over in New Brunswick, there are plenty of positive signs that restrictions are easing. Locals are now able to have gatherings of up to 50 people, there are fewer physical distancing rules in place, and tourist attractions, parks, swimming pools and gyms are starting to reopen.
That said, non-essential visitors are still not allowed. For now, peace officers are stationed 24/7 at its borders, and travel and tourist visits are prohibited.
Things could change, however, and it’s worth keeping an eye on local restrictions over the coming weeks.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Right now, Newfoundland and Labrador has some of the strictest travel rules of all Canada’s regions.
As of May 4, a new ban prohibits anyone but permanent residents and workers from entering, and police even have the power to remove people if they’re found to be breaking the rules.
Compared with the rest of Canada, Newfoundland has extremely low COVID-19 case numbers, and it seems they’re serious about keeping it that way!
That said, there’s always a chance that these rules could change in the coming weeks and months, so don’t write off this beautiful place just yet.
If Nova Scotia is on your bucket list, you might have to hold off a little longer before booking a vacation.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the region has seriously tightened its provincial border controls, and all entry points are being “closely managed.”
Anybody entering is being asked to self-isolate for at least two weeks, even if they’re not experiencing symptoms.
If you're dreaming of a Canadian getaway this summer, Ontario could be the place to go.
At the moment, there are no current border restrictions, although non-essential travel is not recommended right now.
The province currently has some of the most relaxed provincial border patrols of any Canadian region, although Premier Doug Ford has repeatedly asked visitors tofor the time being.
Prince Edward Island
Officials in Prince Edward Island have closed the area to non-residents until June at the earliest.
The province’s Tourism Minister, Matthew MacKay, also suggested that travellers from regions such as Quebec and Ontario are unlikely to be allowed in P.E.I. this summer, but visitors from nearby, less-affected areas like New Brunswick could be welcome.
Over the last two weeks, checkpoints at Quebec’s borders have been eased, and some regions are already beginning to reopen.
However, just because it’s now possible to visit, it doesn’t mean that you’re encouraged to.
For now, the local government is still asking all non-residents to stay away. "We still have to avoid unnecessary going from one region to another," Deputy Premier Geneviève Guilbault explained.
That said, La Belle Province is reopening faster than any other, which means it could be one of the first places that welcome back Canadian travellers.
Although Saskatchewan hasn't closed its border, the government is currentlyin and out of their northern communities.
There’s no official end date for this right now, but restrictions could ease off in the coming weeks.
However, if you were hoping to visit Saskatchewan to camp, think again. Officials have confirmed that “camping in provincial parks will only be open to Saskatchewan residents starting June 1, until further notice.”
Northwest Territories, Nunavut & Yukon
For now, Canada’s territories are off-limits.
All three regions have active public health orders that ban almost anybody from outside of the area from entering.
If the territories are at the top of your bucket list, it might be a couple more months before you can start planning your dream trip.