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The US Border Is Now Open. Here’s What You Need to Consider


With colder months ahead, it’s no doubt many Canadians are currently on the lookout for their next vacation spot, including the usual migration of snowbirds during the winter months.

With Canada reopening its borders to US travel in August and the recent developments related to travel advisories, including the opening of the US borders in November, many Canadians are unsure about what is required. Do you need to show proof of vaccination? Is additional insurance required to travel? These are a few of the questions we hope to address in this latest insight article.

US/Canada Travel Considerations

As of November 8, fully vaccinated Canadians can enter the United States for non-essential travel. It is important, however, to remain vigilant and up to date on current vaccine updates and travel restrictions. For one thing, Canadians must be fully vaccinated to enter the country. According to Forbes.com, travellers from Canada will need to:

Canada re-entry restrictions

The requirements for leaving Canada aren’t the only thing to prepare for. There are strict re-entry requirements that need to be considered as well. When returning to Canada, testing and quarantine requirements still apply. Canadians and other travellers into the country are required to provide proof of a negative PCR (molecular) test within 72 hours of their return, as well as other personal details about their trip.

Canadians who aren’t double vaccinated still need to follow quarantining requirements and abide by testing protocols.

The Canadian government provides a savvy tool to assess whether or not you are able to enter the country. To use this tool visit, this page.

What are the experts saying?

According to NFP insurance experts, Canadians are encouraged not to leave the country without travel insurance. Purchasing insurance is highly sought-after – now more than ever before – due to ever-evolving health conditions and travel advisories. While many travellers may be seeking comfort and security by purchasing a COVID-19 rider, many insurers are saying it’s not a necessity for travel purposes if you’re double vaccinated. Employee corporate benefits may already offer the health coverage needed in the event of a COVID-19-related health crisis while on a trip. Verify this with your insurer as you plan your trip.

What is a COVID-19 rider, and who needs one?

A COVID-19 rider is a way for insureds who are not double vaccinated to add travel insurance to their normal health coverage. Also, without the COVID-19 rider, medical travel insurance protection has an exclusion in the event of a travel advisory to avoid all travel or avoid non-essential travel being issued by the Canadian Government prior to the departure date or while on a trip.

COVID-19 rider providers gauge your risk (and, ultimately, your premium and coverage limit) based on various factors, so it’s best to consult an individual company’s website for details. In some cases, factors may include your destination country and the prevalence of the virus there.

Travelling with confidence

Anyone with the intention to travel should thoroughly research their destination countries policies and travel advisories. Also, Canadians must keep an open mind when it comes to last minute trip cancellations due to fluctuating decisions related to border restrictions, and travel advisories.

The Canadian Government provides a useful resource for those looking to travel internationally. Visit travel.gc.ca, to learn more.

For more information on health insurance or COVID-19 coverage, contact Marty Firestone at mjfirestone@nfp.ca

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