According to a report, the Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) estimates that 30 percent of Canada’s over one million snowbirds headed south last winter. This year, however, CSA estimates that 90 percent will go south after they’re fully vaccinated and can cross the border.
Some snowbirds were able to take flights to the U.S. during the pandemic. However, the CSA shared that most people drive.
“A lot of them were uncomfortable with the idea of traveling by plane,” spokesperson Evan Rachkovsky said.
“Now that we have the land border opening up, they’re determined to make the trip down south.”
The sun isn’t the only thing drawing snowbirds south.
Many snowbirds shared with a local report that they’re planning to get a COVID-19 booster shot in the U.S. Most provinces offer booster shots only to a few vulnerable groups. On the other hand, the U.S. now offers booster shots to seniors.
The U.S. has not yet announced the time of the border’s reopening on November 8. However, the government has promised that details will be forthcoming.
Canadians returning after recreational travel must present proof of negative COVID-19 test results within 72 hours prior to their return flight or arrival at the border.
Canada will only accept a molecular test (such as a PCR test) that can be expensive.
During a news conference held on Thursday, the CSA called for Ottawa to eliminate the costly molecular test for fully-vaccinated travelers.
“The time has come for the government to end these unnecessary barriers and return to affordable travel,” said Michael MacKenzie, the CSA‘s executive director.