While the pandemic is not yet over, restrictions are starting to be lifted. That means that travel junkies can get back to planning their next adventure.
So what countries are open for Canadians? Where is it safest to travel?
Many countries have opened their borders to Canadians with some restrictions. Fully vaccinated people have significantly less restrictions than unvaccinated people, so it is recommended that you get vaccinated before you travel!
The World Travel & Tourism Council created a SafeTravels Stamp in 2020 to indicate destinations that have adopted standardized health and hygiene protocols. Locations and businesses with this stamp are the best places to go. COVID-19 still has flare ups around the world and choosing a safe location with ensure you can have the perfect vacation.
Here are the top destinations for a safe and exciting return to travelling:
Known for its vibrant culture and beautiful views, Poland is a the perfect destination for nature lovers and city lovers. With 15,000 miles of marked trails weaving throughout the country, Poland offers a mix of seaside views, vast forests, dunes, plains, and mountains. At its capital, Warsaw, travelers can experience the UNESCO-listed Old Town. Encounter dramatic palaces, cathedrals, castles, and historic architecture that tell stories of Europe in WWII.
The CDC has categorized Poland as a level one risk for COVID-19, making it among the healthiest and safest places to travel. If you are fully vaccinated, travel here will be easy. You do not need to get tested for COVID-19 or quarantine upon arrival, with Poland only asking that you wear a mask and socially distance when possible. Unvaccinated people traveling from Canada must quarantine themselves for 10 days upon arrival in Poland, but can end the quarantine early by supplying a negative COVID-19 test after 8 days of quarantine.
Hungary is a landlocked country in central Europe that is best known for its capital, Budapest. The city is located along the Danube river, making boat tours a popular choice for tourists in this city. The most visited attraction in the city is the Szechenyi Baths, natural hot springs which have been converted into a spa. The city also offers castles, cathedrals, and palaces, but if that isn’t enough, it is also said to have some of the best nightlife in Europe. From clubs to spas to cruises, Budapest offers a glamorous and unique experience you don’t want to miss.
Hungary is also categorized as a level one risk for COVID-19. Vaccinated travelers from Canada have no required screening or quarantine while traveling in the country. Unvaccinated travelers must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival in Hungary.
Romania is a region that is full of remnants from medieval times. The country has a landscape of forests and hills with small villages scattered throughout the land. Castles should be a must on any tourist’s sight-seeing list, and this country has plenty to offer. Many castles have medieval gothic styles and wooden features, making them a breathtaking sight. Romania is home to the city known as the vampire hangout, Transylvania, housing the famous Dracula’s Castle (otherwise known as Bran Castle). If you want to feel like you have traveled back to 1200 AD and are a villager in middle age town, you have to check out Romania.
Romania is categorized as a level two health risk, so travel has some risk involved to it, but it is generally considered safe for those who take the proper precautions. Despite its risk level, travelers of all vaccination status can freely travel to this country without having to get tested or quarantine.
Slovakia is one of the hidden gems of Europe. It is one of the smaller countries of the continent, but offers a rich folk culture combined with modern cities and beautiful natural views. While it offers both old town and city experiences, Slovakia is the best option for lovers of the outdoors. The High Tatras, the tallest mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains, offers waterfalls, meadows, and hundreds of lakes. Slovenský Raj National Park has trails for hikers involving caves, climbing up ladders, and footbridges over waterfalls. Bring your camera because you won’t want to forget the views.
Slovakia is currently a level one risk for COVID-19, so you can feel safe when traveling here. Vaccinated travelers have no restrictions, and do not need to quarantine or get tested upon arrival. The unvaccinated must quarantine for 2 weeks upon arrival, but can end quarantine early with a negative COVID-19 test on their 5th day in the country.
With thousands of years of history for you to discover, a trip to Egypt can be both safe and exciting. The country has many ancient attractions that make this destination the history-lovers dream. You probably already know some of the more popular sites to see here, like the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. There are countless other historic monuments to visit here as well, from tombs to temples to oases. The country also offers many non-historic experiences too, like Nile cruises, and Souqs – markets where vendors sell everything from fabric to antiques.
Egypt is a level two risk, making it a moderate level risk for COVID-19, but following the proper safety precautions decreases the risk level. It is wise to get vaccinated before traveling to this destination. Fully vaccinated travelers can visit Egypt restriction free, but it is still recommended to use masks and socially distance. Unvaccinated travelers from Canada only have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival and do not need to quarantine.
Far off the coast of Portugal sits the Madeira Islands, filled with mountain views and lush greenery. The coast of the islands has some of the bluest waters you will ever see, and offers adventures like snorkeling, kayaking, swimming, or just relaxing on the beach. The interior of the island has thrilling hiking experiences through picturesque mountains above the clouds. Finish your day with the memorable Madeira cuisine offered by many restaurants in the main part of the island. A vacation here has activities for every kind of traveler.
The Madeira Islands is categorized as a moderate level COVID-19 threat, but by taking the proper health measures, all the outdoor activities offered are a safe option for travelers. There are relatively few restrictions for travel here, especially for the vaccinated. Upon arrival, travelers must show a vaccination certificate. Unvaccinated travelers must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. After that, travelers are free to experience the islands with limited restrictions.
By far the safest place for Canadians to travel is within Canada. The country is huge, and has so many different experiences to offer. Road trips across provinces prevent the need for risky air travel. Nova scotia offers a maritime experience, with coastal views and unique local culture. Large cities like Ottawa, Toronto, or Vancouver offer a wide array of cuisines, museums, galleries and districts. Places like Alberta and Newfoundland offer breath taking views and can fulfill any outdoor lover’s needs. There are so many new experiences that you can have right at home, and it is worth discovering all that Canada has to offer.