As the world adjusts to its new normal, international travel attempts to make a comeback greater than Michael Jordan in ’95… but are we ready?
While the Canadian government is advising against all non essential travel, many of Europe's borders are reopen along with borders in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and as a result, we haven't been anywhere either. That's all about to change as places from Aruba to Los Cabos re-open borders and implement new health and safety regulations. This reopening is crucial for countries like the Dominican Republic and Jamaica that rely so heavily on their tourism industry.
Canadian federal regulations still call for a mandatory self-isolation/quarantine of 14 days upon returning to Canada. So if you're keen for a little alone time upon your return, make sure you're stocked up on food and streaming services before you leave.
For those travel bugs itching to get away this year, here's a list of places deemed safe for Canadians to travel in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean – just don't forget to pack your PPE and check the policies of each airline. Safe travels, literally.
Caribbean, Mexico & Central America borders reopen: 10 places you can travel to now
Aruba opened its borders to visitors from Canada and Europe on July 1st. Travellers must upload a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before boarding. Social distancing is in effect along with limited capacity on popular tourist attractions and strict cleaning and hygiene standards for all tourism-related businesses.
The Bahamas reopened to Canadians on July 1, but have recently changed travel requirements due to a surge in cases. As of August 1st, Canadians have to present a negative COVID-19 test before travelling. Canadians must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and present another negative COVID-19 test to be released.
Canadians must present a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before departure and will be monitored (not quarantined) for 14 days. If there are no symptoms half way through, Canadians can take another COVID-19 test and monitoring will stop if results are negative. Barbados also launched a one-year working visa for foreigners to live and work remotely during a pandemic. *Books flight*
International travel to Bermuda resumed on July 1. Visitors must present a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure. Upon arrival, visitors must undergo COVID-19 testing and quarantine for 24 hours until their test results are delivered.
Plus, if you're tired of zoom meetings from your condo, travellers 18 years and older can apply for a Work from Bermuda Certificate which will allow them to move to the island for a year while working remotely. Sign us up.
Costa Rica reopened for Canadian tourists on August 1st. All travellers are required to present a negative COVID-19 test that has been received within 48 hours of departure.
Canadian tourists must present a negative COVID-19 test that's been taken within five days of arrival. There are temperature checks and health screenings as soon as you exit the plane. Public pools, lakes and rivers have been temporarily banned, but beaches remain open.
As of August 1st, Grenada, the 'spice of the Caribbean,' reopened its borders to Canadian tourists. It is currently a virus free nation so there are strict guidelines. Canadian tourists must present a negative COVID-19 test and there is rapid testing upon arrival – if the rapid test is negative, visitors are approved to travel to accommodation and allowed limited movement.
Borders reopened to international travellers on June 15 during 'Phase One' of Jamaica's reopening. There is screening and risk assessment for each passenger upon arrival. If you do not require a COVID-19 test and are staying at an official safe zone hotel, you do not have to undergo quarantine.
Los Cabos, Mexico
Tourist hot spots like Los Cabos along with Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, Tulum and Puerto Vallarta reopened in June. COVID-19 tests are not required, however, face masks are mandatory in public places and social distancing is in effect.
U.S. Virgin Islands
Don't let the name concern you, this island paradise is a far cry from America. On June 1st, the U.S. Virgin Islands reopened to all travellers. PPE and health screening is required for all arrivals and symptomatic travellers will be referred to the Dept. of Health. It's recommended to call ahead for reservations/distant seating plans at restaurants and bars – no mask, no service.