Seasonal residents in South Florida are affectionately known as snowbirds and are an important part of the economy throughout South Florida. Ask any South Florida resident and they can tell you how many Canadian license plates they typically see during the winter months. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly impacted how many of our northern friends we have seen throughout South Florida lately.
As we enter another winter season, it is largely expected that South Florida should see a rebound in visitors as compared to last year. Of course, new Canadian mandates may impact this to some extent.
Although it is more likely that Canadians will spend their winter in Florida this year as compared to last year, they will be required to be vaccinated in order to return home. This is because starting on October 30th, 2021, the Canadian government will require all air travelers and passengers on interprovincial trains to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This new policy will affect all commercial air travelers, passengers on trains between provinces and cruise ship passengers ages 12 and up. A short transition period will allow travelers who are in the process of getting vaccinated to board if they can show a negative molecular test within 72 hours of travel, but only through Nov. 30, 2021.
Who is affected by Canada’s vaccine mandate?
These travel policies apply to:
- Passengers on domestic, transborder or international flights departing from Canadian airports.
- Passengers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains.
- Passengers on nonessential passenger vessels, such as cruise ships, on voyages at least 24 hours long.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, approximately 72% of the Canadian population is already fully vaccinated. As of August, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. downgraded their travel advisories for Canada. However, the U.S. border is set to remain closed to Canadian tourists through at least October 21, 2021. Ultimately, we certainly expect a better “snowbird season” throughout Florida this winter.
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