Is Travel Restricted Within Canada During The COVID-19 Pandemic? It’s Complicated.

Melanie Woods

Right about now, a lot of Canadians probably dream of getting away, travelling somewhere and seeing the world. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we could all use a vacation. 

But international summer vacations are off the table. Flights are grounded, borders are mostly closed, and it could be awhile before they open back up again. 

In early May, international air travel was running at around 90 per cent less capacity than before the pandemic hit, according to Statistics Canada, and the Canada-U.S. border remains closed to non-essential travel for the foreseeable future. So for Canadians looking to get away for a day, weekend or longer, staying within our borders is the only choice. 

Add on the federal government reopening 29 of its 48 national parks on June 1, and it makes sense that Canadians might be tempted to get out in the true north strong and free.

But should you? 

Here’s what you should consider before planning your big Canadian vacation in the age of COVID-19.

Case rates are widely different from province to province

And the divide is growing larger by the day.

Provinces have instituted measures throughout the pandemic to limit inter-provincial travel. 

A car drives through Banff National Park in Alberta.

The Atlantic provinces have largely cracked down on non-essential travel in and out of their borders. Newfoundland and Labrador implemented a travel ban in early May barring anyone but permanent residents and workers in essential sectors from entering the province. Meanwhile, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have implemented check-points at major entry points to stop and question people about their health and risk of exposure. Prince Edward Island is closed to non-residents as well.

All three territories, which have largely seen limited COVID-19 cases , have maintained strict borders as well. Nunavut is even insisting all people entering the territory undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine. 

Saskatchewan hasn’t closed its border, but the government issued an order in April that restricts all...

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