Before the World Health Organization designated Omciron as a variant of concern nearly two months ago, air passenger momentum was steadily building at Halifax Stanfield International Airport despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. .
“We were back to about 50% of our pre-pandemic travel before the holidays, but that has since declined again. And we’re now back to the 25-30% range,” said Tiffany Chase, director of public affairs for the Halifax International Airport Authority. [HIAA].
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The Public Health Agency of Canada has had a level 3 travel advisory in place since mid-December; which discourages all non-essential international travel.
For fully immunized Nova Scotians choosing to travel internationally, Chase says there are several requirements and safety measures in place when departing and returning.
“You have to upload your vaccination status, there is a pre-departure test before you return to Canada which must be negative, once you arrive here in Halifax you should expect to be tested again and then self-isolate until ‘until you get those negative results,” Chase said.
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PCR testing is available on-site at the Halifax airport for travelers returning to the country.
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The branch manager of a Halifax travel agency says the more information Nova Scotians have, the more confidence they regain in booking travel.
“A lot of people want to know ‘do we sell COVID insurance if you were to test positive in a destination. Of course, yes, we are configured to do so. It’s good that isolation and quarantine have been reduced a bit,” said Myranda Miller of Maritime Travel.
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Miller says Nova Scotians’ desire to get away to warmer destinations is highest in January and February.
“People are coming down, they need to take a break, a lot of people are making their own decisions, and they’re ready to come down, be near the beach, soak up the sun,” she said.
According to the federal government’s website, people who have recovered from COVID-19 are exempt from readmission testing if they provide a positive molecular test result no more than 180 days before Jan. 15.
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