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New Hope For Tourism and Travel

The earth moved, and Canada is about to scrap its travel restrictions. The world has come to an end.

A 7.7 magnitude earthquake shook the ground of Mexico today. Being 215 kilometres from the epicentre (134 miles) the effects were unsettling. Rumblings like a freight train preceded the movement. Light fixtures transformed into a group of drunken sailors on their way home from a night on the town. Rattling windows chattered like teeth on a cold winter’s day. Fingers of water sprayed onto the pool deck. For an eternal minute the tremor rocked the foundations of my house and my stomach. I’m used to high winds and Arctic temperatures, not quaking earth. 

And all this on the same day reports of Trudeau getting ready to axe the ArriveCAN app and end travel restrictions in Canada hit the airways. The earthquake shook my body. The end of Canadian travel restrictions shook my soul. Is this the end of the pandemic era? Don’t let your guard down, Canada. 

It’s not “official” yet, but sources say scrapping the draconian COVID-19 vaccination mandate at the U.S. border and eliminating random testing requirements is coming to an end.

Words echoing hope and lights at the end of tunnels have been coming from travel outlets since the beginning of lockdowns. End of restrictions is what the travel industry, and the rest of the human world, need. Opening the travel sector further will be the unleashing of freedom once again.

If all goes well, the mandatory masking remaining in the Canadian travel sector will also end. Sources say most measures will be gone by the end of September when the Order in Council giving the existing restrictions and requirements power expires.

The Canadian government has faced backlash from border communities, tourism groups, travel agent advocates, and Conservative MPs over its remaining COVID-19 restrictions. The travel industry was decimated—how will it ever recover? Add inflation and how anyone can afford to travel, let alone live, in The Great White North anymore is astonishing.

Red Light, Green Light

What will the removal of travel restriction controls mean for citizens and foreigners? Once the green light flashes, unvaccinated visitors will be allowed to enter Canada. 

Additionally, unvaccinated Canadians will no longer face fines up to $5,000 if they don’t show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or recovery from a previous infection before entering the country. 

And begone 14-day quarantine for healthy people and “subject to testing” upon arrival. 

It is interesting how this news is coming about when the Trudeau government faces numerous lawsuits over the ArriveCAN app, which is at the centre of a federal court challenge by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms on behalf of 11 Canadians, including some who have been fined up to $8,500 for non-compliance. Not to mention the Brian Peckford case where the government is being taken to task over the “no-fly” for unvaccinated Canadians. Yes, his lawsuit is going to court this week, too. It’s a direct violation of Charter rights.

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Talk is on the table to end mandatory testing for vaccinated passengers entering Canada, a ridiculous practice suspended on June 11th before being reinstated on July 19th—one giant leap backwards for the travelling and rational kind.

Since early September, the Canadian government has been lauding the success of the ArriveCAN app and its effectiveness. Laughable. The union representing guards at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) complained the app was slowing processing times to a crawl at understaffed airports over the summer. Many people are fed up with the app. But the government continued to hold a death grip on its surveillance tool. 

The app has a glitchy reputation, just like those who enforce it, such as sending out notifications requiring people to unnecessarily quarantine. The last ArriveCAN glitch sent an automated message to over 10,000 vaccinated Canadians requiring them to quarantine for 14 days. It took the government 12 days to inform the affected people the app had malfunctioned. They were free to go. Unacceptable. 

All the while, the illustrious Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, defended the app suggesting it is vital in preventing the spread of COVID-19 despite evidence vaccination does not stop transmission or infection. Not sure how an app can stop a virus…

“The Justice Centre has heard from thousands of Canadians who have been negatively impacted by the federal government’s mandatory requirement to use ArriveCAN,” said Eva Chipiuk, a lawyer challenging the government on the federal requirement that travellers use the ArriveCAN app to enter the country. “Thousands of law-abiding citizens have been fined egregiously simply for returning to their home country. The differential treatment and discriminating between vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers also defies science, which the federal government claims to follow.”

Muppet Show Science

Almost the entire continent of Europe is open save Germany, Spain, and Ukraine. Central and South America are waking up, too. It’s high time Canada and the United States follow suit. The outdated practices (one could argue they were never accurate) of following their own “science” need to go. Bring the curtain down. I’m ready for the final act. It’s time for friends and families to be united. Governments have wanted us divided and shaken because division brings weakness and weakness means the populace is easier to control. Shake the foundations. Hold the dark powers that be accountable for the trauma they have put people through.

To see what other countries have dropped all travel restrictions, head over to the blog and start researching your Plan B escape route today. With restrictions lifting, now is the perfect time to visit the countries you are interested in having a second residence or citizenship so you can hang your hat the next time governments try to lock you down.

Charlotte TweedCharlotte Tweed is an adventurous soul with a goal to take you on a journey where you don’t just visit—you live it. Graduating with a Travel and Tourism Honours diploma, Charlotte is channeling all her passion and skills into writing for Escape Artist. She began her expat journey on June 15, 2021, and will be chronicling her expat roadmap weekly in the Escape Artist newsletter. Reading, writing, and planning her and her husband’s next expat destination in the world are how she fills her days. As a recently published author, her mission is to transform your life with expat travel—one destination, one adventure, one story at a time.

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