Travel Warning: Canadian Winter Texans Avoid Harvey

Global Canada has issued a stern “avoid all travel” warning to Canadians planning to visit flood-stricken Texas. Warnings extend from Port Mansfield—just north of the city of Brownsville (well-known to many winter Texan snowbirds), along the Gulf Coast, and inland areas including Houston.

With tropical storm Harvey moving eastward into Louisiana, restricted travel warnings are likely to be extended well past the time Harvey calms down and the flood waters recede.

We urge all Canadians anticipating travel to any part of Texas south of Dallas, especially Winter Texans concerned about their homes or properties in the Rio Grande Valley north of Brownsville (in the MacAllen/Harlingen area), to monitor the Global Canada website for current travel advisories and warnings.

Travel Canada defines an “avoid all travel” warning level as, “an extreme risk to your personal safety and security. You should not travel to this country, territory, or region. If you are already in the country, territory, or region, you should consider leaving if it is safe to do so.”

Once Travel Canada issues an “avoid all travel” warning, some of your travel insurance benefits (e.g., emergency medical, trip cancellation, and assistance services) might be restricted. Travel insurance policies issued in Canada warn customers of limitations.  Some provide a 24 or 48 hour grace period, to get out of restricted areas as their ability to provide services may be disabled.

Given the nature of Harvey, and the history of flood levels in Texas, the risk of disruption and possibly disease, will likely impact the area for some time. It is imperative that if you are planning to travel to central and southern Texas, you monitor Travel Canada’s website daily.

Travel Canada is also warning of the risk of Zika virus transmission in southern Texas. Last December, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the first case of locally-acquired Zika in the Brownsville area of the Rio Grande Valley, and it is maintaining risk warnings of possible spread in the area.

For Canadians anticipating travel to Florida this coming winter, the threat of Zika transmission—though always a possibility—has diminished considerably as no new cases of locally acquired transmission have been reported for over a year.  But government authorities and the CDC continue to advise women who are pregnant or anticipating becoming so to practice strict anti-mosquito measures if travelling to southern Florida.


Are you a Canadian Winter Texan looking for travel insurance advice? Call an expert travel insurance agent today.

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