What Canadians Need for Safe Travel to Europe and US

With borders re-opening now that COVID transmissions are generally abating, you need to know the requirements of all individual nations on your planned itineraries. And most important, consult with your travel insurance broker or agent to make sure you know the coverage benefits and exclusions of your insurance policy before heading to the airport. The pandemic has changed they way we travel. Don’t try to do it alone.

Europe Bound?

Canadian travellers heading for Europe will generally find their vaccine passports widely accepted as the European Union recently recommended COVID restrictions be lifted for fully-vaccinated residents of Canada and 18 other 3rd countries (non EU): including those with proof of restored immunity after having recovered from COVID infection. Fortunately, for Canadians, the EU accepts all vaccines that were used in Canada, including those used in combination with Astra Zeneca as meeting its criterion.

However, though the UA has lifted its embargo on Canadians and others, individual EU nations remain free to lift or retain their border restrictions against other EU or “3rd countries”(outside the Union) which they consider high risk as surges continue. Just recently it raised temporary warnings against to travel

Germany, Finland, Ireland, Estoia Slovenia, Slovakia as “unsafe for trave” Such warnings are listed almost daily, as the Eu has a threshold for assessing safety levels in its block– the criterion being that mutual re-openings are best achieved between nations that report no more than 75 new COVID cases per 100,000 inhabitants per day on average over a two-week period.

But overall, EU countries have achieved vaccination rates over 75 percent among all adults, with some states moving well beyond that (France 85 percent, Spain 83 percent, and Germany 78 percent). Still, in the interest of safety, it’s important for Canadian travellers and their trained travel advisors to pay attention not only to the broader EU guidance, but to the documentation requirements of individual nations to which they’re heading or transiting

US Bound?

Now that US authorities have announced that proof of mixed-vaccine regimens will be acceptable for

entry, several million Canadians who have been vaccinated with combinations including the Astra Zeneca brand have one less barrier to overcome on their trip South. This is certainly good news for snowbirds.

Overall, the acceptance of a covid passport is not as universal in the US as it is Europe. As we have noted in earlier articles, Americans are split on the issue of mandatory vaccination and more than 20 state governments have legislated that private business, restaurants, sports venues, recreational areas, shopping malls, etc. are prohibited from demanding patrons show proof of vaccination on grounds that such demands intrude on individual health privacy issues. Florida, Arizona, Texas, and some border states are among those maintaining such prohibitions. Other major States, New York and California require their businesses to verify proofs. But given the lack of a national consensus any Canadian proof of vaccination will likely be taken at face value and not be challenged.

© Copyright 2021/2022 Milan Korcok. All rights reserved.

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