On June 11th, Transat announced that its flight and tour operations would resume, as of July 23rd.
The company specified, however, that this recovery would take place "subject to the travel restrictions applicable on that date so allow."
July 23rd is tomorrow, so what should the travel industry expect?
Government travel restrictions still stand
Since June 11th, several countries have reopened their borders to Canadian travellers, including member countries of the European Union as well as several popular sun destinations, including Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and more.
However, on the Canadian side, the government still asks that Canadians avoid all non-essential travel (as well as cruise travel). Similarly, Ottawa maintains that until further notice, any Canadians who do choose to travel must self-isolate for a period of 14 days upon their return to Canada.
This context has prompted major players in the industry to further delay the date of resumption of their activities.
Since March, Transat has postponed the resumption of its operations a few times. But, not this time!
"From July 23rd, we will travel again, in complete safety," Transat declares on its website.
Specifically, Transat's flight schedule includes more than 20 destinations in Europe, the South, the United States and Canada until the end of the summer season on October 31st.
Check entry requirements
That said, Transat is not insensitive to the context in which the imminent resumption of its operations must take place.
"We are aware of travel restrictions and entry requirements that are still in effect, which may vary depending on the country where we operate," Debbie Cabana, director of marketing, social media and public relations at Transat, told PAX . “This is why we ask all our passengers to check the entry requirements of their destination country before their departure, as well as the sanitary measures to be observed on their return. "
In order to guide travellers and facilitate their travel preparations, Transat has created a new tool.
“We have published in our practical guide a list of websites to consult for each destination, including official government sites, tourist information sites, forms to fill out and applications to download before their departure," Cabana added.
The practical guide can be viewed by clicking here .
“We hope that the restrictions currently in force in Canada can soon be lifted in a spirit of reciprocity with regard to countries where the pandemic is less active," Cabana said.
Getting back to travel
In this regard, it should be noted that the wish expressed by Transat coincides with the a recent request from Air Canada to the Government of Canada.
Among other things, Air Canada suggests relaxing the restrictions imposed by the Quarantine Act for countries with a low risk of the spread of COVID-19. In the same vein, Air Canada proposes to establish a list of corridors or safe trips between approved territories with fewer cases of infection, like what is done in other G20 countries.
On June 11th, the president of Transat AT, Jean-Marc Eustache, had already signed (along with some thirty other leaders in travel tourism) an open letter calling on Ottawa to establish "a more targeted approach to international travel."
"The mandatory 14-day quarantine and complete closure of the country to all visitors from abroad is no longer necessary and does not correspond to measures taken by other countries...Not all countries and regions pose risks and that must be taken into consideration," Eustache said.
As of today (July 22nd), the Government of Canada has not responded to these demands.
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