With Canada’s vaccination rates steadily increasing by the day, provinces are starting to ease restrictions for domestic travel.
This week, the British Colombia government lifted the ban on non-essential travel within the province. Ontario and Quebec will also be removing the restriction on non-essential travel between the two provinces on Wednesday.
British Colombia Removes Ban On Non-Essential Travel
Step 2 of British Colombia’s restart plan begins this Monday, June 14th, which will allow residents to enjoy travel across the province for the first time in months.
“Thanks to our collective efforts and commitment to get vaccinated, we are ready to take another step forward in our careful restart,” said Premier John Horgan.
“This next step means seeing more of the people we love, visiting more of our favourite places and safely celebrating the major milestones we’ve missed. Better days are in sight, but we must continue to do our part, get vaccinated, keep our layers of protection strong and work together to put this pandemic behind us.”
Horgan said that “we are advising against travel outside of the province.” The government is also asking those traveling to plan ahead and be respectful while visiting communities, especially smaller and rural towns and Indigenous communities.
In aniticipation of an influx of travelers, BC Transit and BC Ferries will be offering increased services as needed.
Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, said:
“Our step-by-step reopening plan is giving British Columbians what they have been waiting for. The best way we can show our love for B.C. is to get out and eat, stay, shop and play. Whether it’s watching your kids play sports outside, going to the theatre or traveling to new and exciting destinations across the province, we can finally get out and support people, jobs and our economy.”
Public health safety protocols, such as mask-wearing in all indoor public spaces and physical distancing, will remain in place during Step 2.
Ontario-Quebec Border Reopening
Both Ontario and Quebec have announced that the restrictions on non-essential travel between the two provinces that went into effect in April will end at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, June 16th.
Wednesday will also mark the end of Quebec’s rule, which requires residents returning from Ontario to self-isolate for 14 days.
“I am happy to learn that travel restrictions will be lifted between Ontario and Québec this Wednesday,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson on Twitter.
“After months of wasted police resources to control travel around the [National Capital Region], our two highly integrated economic regions will greatly benefit from this decision.”
Travel restrictions between Ontario and Manitoba will also be lifted on Wednesday.
What About The Rest Of Canada?
While provincial governments are still not encouraging inter-provincial travel, there has been a lot of positive news showing that domestic travel will be possible in Canada this summer.
The Atlantic Premiers are discussing the possibility of moving up the date of the Atlantic Travel Bubble. During an interview with CTV, Nova Scotia premier Ian Rankin said that “people should be comfortable booking trips within Atlantic Canada around the end of June and probably the rest of the country by about the middle of July”
New Brunswick announced they will be allowing everyone from Atlantic Canada with the exception of Nova Scotia starting on June 7th, while Prince Edward Island has said that starting June 27, the province will no longer require pre-travel approval for Atlantic Canadian travelers.
Newfoundland and Labrador is set to welcome travelers from the rest of Canada as early as July 1st under the province’s reopening plan, which they are calling “Together Again.”
Saskatchewan and Alberta currently don’t have any travel restrictions in place.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories