Salt air, soft sand, endless shades of blue water, and that breezy out-of-office vibe: a beach vacation seems like a far-fetched daydream at the moment (sigh). While non-essential travel isn’t encouraged in these ever-changing pandemic times, when the time is right, there are dreamy, sun-kissed paradises that don’t require a mandatory quarantine upon entry.
Although Canada currently has a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon return home – so make sure to take that into careful consideration before collecting another passport stamp – it’s possible to safely (keyword) travel to these 5 sunnier spots without being confined to the hotel room upon arrival.
If eco-lodges, rain forests, waterfalls, and surfer-filled beaches are your idea of a winter escape, Costa Rica is safely welcoming Canadian travellers to explore its lush and mountainous landscapes. Costa Rica opened its borders to visitors in November, making it relatively hassle-free for sun-seeking Canadians to visit. While COVID-19 tests aren’t currently required of visitors and the country doesn’t have quarantine rules, incoming travellers can expect temperature checks and a health form upon arrival and must have valid travel insurance. Find more information here.
The popular beach, palm tree, and all-inclusive resort-filled Dominican Republic were one of the first countries in the Caribbean to reopen its borders to international tourists, when it began doing so on July 1. Visitors won’t need to quarantine once they touch down in the popular tourist spot, but they will need to produce a negative COVID-19 test and the Dominican Republic Traveler’s Affidavit (A.K.A. a COVID-19-related health declaration) upon arrival at a Dominican Republic airport. Find more information here.
If clocking 10 hours in a plane (if you live in Toronto, at least) doesn’t faze you, Hawaii’s endless beaches offer a hard-to-beat paradise for everyone from scuba divers and surfers to shameless sun-tanners. In late November, Hawaii announced that travellers wishing to bypass the mandatory 14-day quarantine must have their COVID-19 test results – from a trusted testing partner – prior to departure. If test results aren’t available before boarding the final leg of the trip, the traveller must quarantine for 14 days or the length of the stay, whichever is shorter. Find more information here.
For a tropical vacation vibe closer to home, the Bahamas offers an adult playground in the middle of a white-sand and turquoise water-surrounded paradise. In November, the country introduced new measures for incoming visitors. These include obtaining a COVID-19 RT PCR rest five days prior to arrival, applying for a Bahamas Health Travel Visa, completing a daily health assessment for the duration of the stay, and taking a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test on the fifth day (unless leaving that day). Furthermore, visitors must opt-in to mandatory COVID-19 health insurance when applying for their Health Travel Visa. Find more information here.
From the stunning waterfalls in Ocho Rios to the soothing beaches in Negril, Jamaica’s appeal as a go-to vacation spot is obvious. While visitors from a handful of countries (including the U.S and Mexico) are required to produce a negative COVID-19 test prior to flight check-in, travellers from Canada are currently exempt from the rule. All visitors should have travel insurance that covers COVID-19, however, and must submit a travel authorization prior to arrival, which includes recent health and travel information and accommodation arrangements in Jamaica. It’s important to note that travellers are only exempt from a 14-day quarantine if they are staying in the tourism corridor. Find more information here.
Remember,if you do decide to head south when the time is right, don’t forget that you’ll need to produce a negative COVID-19 test before you set foot on a Canada-bound aircraft.
Disclaimer: The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Travelling internationally during COVID-19 can increase your health risks. WanderEater does not endorse travelling against government advisories.