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Thread: Travelling abroad during Covid for Emergencies

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    Default Travelling abroad during Covid for Emergencies

    I thought I would start a thread to give a guide for anyone travelling abroad during Covid for emergencies. To share the process if it helps anyone. Headaches, tips etc. I have had a bit of a nightmare so far. Information is all over the place on the internet. So hopefully this can give some sort of a guideline/template on what to do.

    Any input is welcome. I will try and update.
    Unfortunately my fathers health is declining rapidly (non covid) and its looking like he will be passing away before I get there. I need to head to London, UK asap.

    So far this has been the process. The UK government site has been a bit of a nightmare in figuring out tests and stuff.

    1. I booked a oneway ticket. There are no direct flights from Calgary. Transit via Toronto. Price was about $330. When it came to paying it was $660. The difference was carrier surcharges.

    2. Booked a covid test Sunday. Booked for Monday morning at Dyna Life labs. This has to be done within 72 hours of flying.
    I recommend booking and checking ahead as it looks like they have lots of locations and availability but it i misleading. I ended up booking first thing at the NE location on Monday. The process was quick and easy. No complaints.
    https://www.dynalife.ca/travel
    This cost $150. I got my result this afternoon(Tuesday) via text and email.

    3. A covid test kit has to be booked when arriving in London. The UK gov website does not tell where. You have to book this ahead of time before you fly.
    I found where to do it. Booking can be done via the Heathrow Airport website:
    https://www.heathrow.com/at-the-airp...andatory-tests
    Its $210 UK pounds sterling. Thats about $370 Canadian. You have to isolate for 10 days. The kit is delivered to the place you are staying at. Two tests must be taken. These are in the pack.

    Make sure you enter the corrrect flight number. I accidentally entered the transit flight from Calgary. I sent a correction email. So will see what happens when I get to London.

    4. Then a passenger locator form needs to completed. This has to be done within 48 hours of flying. Not before.
    https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-c...fore-travel-uk
    Again this asks for the flight number, phone number, address staying etc.

    New update:
    5. Upon Arrival at Heathrow, you documents will be checked. Your covid test packs will arrive by mail at your quarantine location. The day you land is DAY 0. Tests need to be done on Day 2 and 8. You mail them for free. Only spefic mailboxes. These can be found online (Royal Mail website)
    Beware. You will need to input the test pack info online (codes, names, date of birth etc). I recommend opening the pack and reading the info ahead of time.
    I also got called twice to check I was quarantining.

    Returning to Calgary from London UK.

    There are no direct flights to Calgary.

    1. Coming via Toronto was $380 on AirCanada. My sister did this a few weeks before. She stopped in Toronto. She did her hotel quarantine ($1200). Then got the four hour flight back to Calgary two days after.
    I did not choose this option as quarantine has to be done on port of entry. I wanted to do mine in Calgary.
    I paid extra to go via KLM to get to Calgary the same day. I would say it was worth it as I was exhausted. This was about 625/$1100 one way.

    2. The PCR test. I did the one listed on the Heathrow airport website. I recommend that. This was 90 UK. This was easy to find and it was a drive through. My sister did a different company (a few weeks before )and it was not drivethrough. It was also a pain to find. So do the one on the heathrow airport website.

    3. Book your hotel before you fly and you have to book government rates which are a lot higher. I booked at Acclaim Hotel. I booked the wrong rate and my price went from $600 to $900. I got a different room(Smaller). I will explain more later.
    If you cant print your reservation. Take screenshots on your phone.

    4. Sign up to ArriveCan on your smart phone.

    5. The flight. The stopover in Amsterdam was for three hours. Then 8 hour flight into Calgary. The flight was about 30-40% full. The food on the flight was actually very tasty, but they did not give you much. I was super hungry. Buy extra food at the airport or bring extra with you.

    6. Upon arrival in Calgary. I think you have to download the AB trace app (i cant remember). I got taken to a seating area to signup.

    7. You get covid tested at the airport. You are given a requisition for your second covid test on Day 10. Heads up. Day on Landing in Canada is DAY 1 (in London its Day 0).
    Other provinces state you have to have a 2nd covid test on Day 8 and you are given a covid test pack. In Alberta this is not the case. Different rules. You do a covid test on day 10 (ALBERTA) and this is done at Shoppers You have to call to book your appointment. This also has to be reported on the app. But the app asks you on day 8 and does not account for Albertans. So I reported it on day 10 as per Alberta rules. I got called twice by the government at home to ask where I was etc. I was asked how do I get fresh air to which I replied, I just open the patio door/window at home.

    8. The Hotel. I was at Acclaim for two days. A shuttle bus will come to collect you. The room was small but adequate, no microwave. No bathtub. Just a shower. It might not seem like a big issue. But after a long flight, sometimes you just want a nice long bath.
    Bring toothpaste if you can. The mini hotel pack were barely adequate for a single person. For a family, you will need more.
    Order extra coffee/cream. Night person does not have access to extra.
    Warning, the windows do not open in the hotel. So when you put the aircon on, it can be dusty.
    The food was adequate. You get a menu and choices. You tell the restaurant what you like and it gets delivered to your door.
    My covid test came back on day 2 in the late afternoon. I got refunded for the third day. Three days was $900. But I left after two days($640) after getting my negative Covid result. ($46 cab ride home). Rest of the quarantine was done in my home.
    Overall, no real complaints of the hotel (other than the very high prices). Staff were helpful and friendly.

    Not to start a argument but more of a observation. I preferred the UK process it was straightforward. From the airport I went right home.
    The Canadian was process was long and bureaucratic. Then I was in contact with at least 12 people leaving customs, through to the Hotel.
    If one does the quarantine at the port of entry (i.e Toronto) and are in the clear. Then one can still get covid from a local traveller on the second domestic flight back to Calgary. No tests are needed for domestic flights. To put into perspective. My sister left the UK a few weeks before I did. She did her pre-flight covid tests, covid test at the aiport and hotel quarantine. She was in the clear. When she got back to Calgary, she got covid. Not through the flight, but through family.
    The variants are out of control in Alberta. I do know from government sources, these spread from out from BC overland. Then east to Alberta.
    I don't know what the answer is. But I think this process needs better scrutiny.

    Some may have gathered from my other posts the forum. Dad died two weeks after we arrived. He had a massive cardiac arrest, fell into a coma and did not recover. We could not see him due to covid restrictions at the hospital. Thankyou for all those on this forum for your kind words and support.

    For whatever reason you have to travel. Goodluck, I hope this helps anyone to structure on what they have to do.
    Last edited by tonytiger55; 05-04-2021 at 12:56 AM. Reason: Update

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    How does isolation work in terms of returning from Canada?

    I believe its mandatory paid 3 days in a hotel until you've tested negative then you have to quarantine at home for the remainder of the 14 days. But how does that work to take a second flight back to Calgary during your 'quarantine'. Or do you end up spending 2 weeks in a Toronto hotel?
    Nolan

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    #6 - Peel Police at YYZ are no longer giving a fuck about travelers walking away from the quarantine hotels.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6CVo_1xZ3c

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    I believe when returning to canada you do yournisolat9at the final destination, not your first stop in the country. So 8n this case Calgary not Toronto.
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    I'd be lying if I said I didn't disagree.
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    His name isn't NICEramos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pheoxs View Post
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    How does isolation work in terms of returning from Canada?

    I believe its mandatory paid 3 days in a hotel until you've tested negative then you have to quarantine at home for the remainder of the 14 days. But how does that work to take a second flight back to Calgary during your 'quarantine'. Or do you end up spending 2 weeks in a Toronto hotel?
    My sibling contacted Air Canada and spoke to a rep. The Air Canada rep said its a three day quarantine in Toronto. You can't transit. You get put into a hotel for three days and you must book in advance. The whole booking thing has been crazy from the reports. Once the test comes negative, you are taken back to airport for your connecting flight. Air Canada just books you onto the next available flight to continue.

    Can anyone read this and make sense of this?
    https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/tr...er#transit-air

    Extra slow, I'l ask tomorrow at the airport to see if the end point is Calgary for the quarantine.

    Does anyone know if the US has any of the quarantine rules on transit? In theory I could transit through Dallas on the way back and do the three day quarantine in Calgary.

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    I'm going purely on hearsay based on coworkers who continue to travel for business purposes.

    The best is to be an essential worker, then no quarantine at all. I think most of my coworkers would qualify for that if we did the right paperwork. I don't think my company is exploring that, although similar companies apparently are.
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    I'd be lying if I said I didn't disagree.
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    His name isn't NICEramos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonytiger55 View Post
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    My sibling contacted Air Canada and spoke to a rep. The Air Canada rep said its a three day quarantine in Toronto. You can't transit. You get put into a hotel for three days and you must book in advance. The whole booking thing has been crazy from the reports. Once the test comes negative, you are taken back to airport for your connecting flight. Air Canada just books you onto the next available flight to continue.

    Can anyone read this and make sense of this?
    https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/tr...er#transit-air

    Extra slow, I'l ask tomorrow at the airport to see if the end point is Calgary for the quarantine.

    Does anyone know if the US has any of the quarantine rules on transit? In theory I could transit through Dallas on the way back and do the three day quarantine in Calgary.
    You don't need masks in Texas so I'm guessing no quarantine rules there. I would definitely look into this option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roopi View Post
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    You don't need masks in Texas so I'm guessing no quarantine rules there. I would definitely look into this option.
    Yeah, worth a shot; YYC -> DFW -> LHR


    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    The benefit of masks is not known at this time. But we do know it is some non-trivial amount more than zero.

    We also know that the cost of mask use is, essentially, zero.

    So the cost:benefit of mask use is approaching infinity. I'll take that every time. And every time I see someone without a mask, I think they are stupid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonytiger55 View Post
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    Other: So in terms of work and salary. Work has given me two options. The Canadian gov offers help in terms of income caregiving. So you instruct your employer and they put you onto this and the gov pays. The employer tops up. I tried calling the goverment helpline, but it is closed and I fly out tomorrow morning.
    But I need the form to be completed by a doctor/nurse. But I can't get to the hospital as I will be in quarantine and nether can any family member go to the hospital. Im not sure doctors can state caregiving as my dad will be passing at some point. Technically I am giving care to mum to help dad in this time. But she is not the one sick. I don't know if the hospital will release this info to me.

    The second option is bereavement help on the gov side. But my dad has not passed. I have no idea what im going to do for income. I'l prob use my vacation/personal days etc.
    But just something people should be mindful if faced in a simiar situation.
    https://www.canada.ca/en/services/be...aregiving.html
    The link you posted states,

    "You are a family member of the person who is critically ill or injured or needing end-of-life care, or you are considered to be like a family member"

    So you're eligible for it as you are a family member of the person needing end-of-life care.

    Also isn't work bereavement counts if your immediate family is on life support?


    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    The benefit of masks is not known at this time. But we do know it is some non-trivial amount more than zero.

    We also know that the cost of mask use is, essentially, zero.

    So the cost:benefit of mask use is approaching infinity. I'll take that every time. And every time I see someone without a mask, I think they are stupid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtraSlow View Post
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    I'm going purely on hearsay based on coworkers who continue to travel for business purposes.

    The best is to be an essential worker, then no quarantine at all. I think most of my coworkers would qualify for that if we did the right paperwork. I don't think my company is exploring that, although similar companies apparently are.
    Even with essential worker exemption there seems to be confusion with the most recent rules.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/winds...-act-1.5926311
    ---

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    Dafuq is our government doing?
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    I'd be lying if I said I didn't disagree.
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    His name isn't NICEramos.

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    Update.

    When I fly back I have to pay and get tested on the UK side before I fly.

    You have to quarantine at your port of entry. So a flight back via Toronto means quarantining at Toronto for three days. It has to be on the list of government approved hotels at a GAA rate. It cannot be the standard rate.
    What I have learned from others that have posted from social media. A three day stay is averaging at around $1000. This is non refundable. So you can get tested on day one at the hotel. Results can come back negative the next day. You fly back to Calgary and quarantine at home for 10/14 days.

    The mandatory hotel stay is blatant cash grab. I don't see why I can't fly into Calgary and take my test at home like I have done in the UK.

    I checked if I was able to fly through Dallas. But I don't think transit is being allowed from anyone coming from the UK or Europe.
    I might get to Calgary via KLM. Hotels are slightly cheaper in Calgary. But I'l see when the time comes next month.

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    One of my coworker just returned to Canada from China and yeah he had to hotel in Vancouver before flying to Calgary to quarantine at home.
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    I'd be lying if I said I didn't disagree.
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    His name isn't NICEramos.

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    https://www.insauga.com/loopholes-st...earson-airport

    [quote]
    This week, Peel Police said enforcement matters have been turned over to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the body responsible for the protocols that require international travellers to take the COVID test and to quarantine at a hotel after arriving at the airport.
    However, PHAC has yet to confirm its own enforcement plan, and may not have the ability to issue fines or stop those who simply bypass all protocols and walk out of the airport. [/quote
    ]

    Im in a similar situation as a family member is dying in the EU right now - coming back I'd much rather take a (possible) non-sticking fine of 800$ and be on my way - rather than a mandatory bill of over 1000$ and 3 days of thumb twiddling time in full lockdown.
    Last edited by revelations; 03-13-2021 at 01:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonytiger55 View Post
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    The mandatory hotel stay is blatant cash grab. I don't see why I can't fly into Calgary and take my test at home like I have done in the UK.
    .
    Because then you might be infecting everyone on the flight between YYZ and YYC. People were complaining about exactly this month's ago, so they stopped allowing it. Now people are complaining it's not allowed.

    There's a shit ton of flaws in almost every rule they've implemented since the beginning, but this is one rule I'm glad of. I wish the full 10 days quarantine was at port of entry, and then you wouldn't have to do anymore when arriving home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tik-Tok View Post
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    Because then you might be infecting everyone on the flight between YYZ and YYC. People were complaining about exactly this month's ago, so they stopped allowing it. Now people are complaining it's not allowed.

    There's a shit ton of flaws in almost every rule they've implemented since the beginning, but this is one rule I'm glad of. I wish the full 10 days quarantine was at port of entry, and then you wouldn't have to do anymore when arriving home.
    Fair point. But there will always be some sort of risk. Is the risk deemed so high..? That is the question I like to see the data on. To give a perspective. Mandatory hotel stay in London is only required on countries marked red.
    Its the price gouging that is the issue and its non refundable. Thats the issue. Its only government approved hotels.
    I think a three day non refundable hotel stay is pushing it a bit at $1k? One can book three days at the same hotel for way less. But that is illegal. I don't see why I cant book my own hotel room and order my own food in.

    To give a perspective. Me and my sister landed in LondonThursday morning (day zero) and took a taxi home. Our Covid test packs arrived Thursday and Friday. Saturday we took our tests. Monday we received the results which were negative. The instructions were we still could have covid and need to stick with our quarantine.
    Government called Tuesday to check in.
    We took our last test on Friday. Our results came in Negative. But are still quarantined till Monday as per rules.

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    Data based restrictions are not a thing. Most restrictions are more about optics and punishment than science.

    They WANT travel to be a hassle. That is the goal. It's working.
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    I'd be lying if I said I didn't disagree.
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    His name isn't NICEramos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtraSlow View Post
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    Data based restrictions are not a thing. Most restrictions are more about optics and punishment than science.

    They WANT travel to be a hassle. That is the goal. It's working.
    exactly.

    Same reason JT closed the loop hole about closing CERB benefits for people quarantining after coming home from vacation.

    the spirit of the law is good, just horrible implementation. Travel should be a big fucking pain in the ass and be super costly to discourage it in times like this.
    Boosted life tip #329
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    Quote Originally Posted by spikerS View Post
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    exactly.

    Same reason JT closed the loop hole about closing CERB benefits for people quarantining after coming home from vacation.

    the spirit of the law is good, just horrible implementation. Travel should be a big fucking pain in the ass and be super costly to discourage it in times like this.
    Wait, you WANT travel to be a pain in the ass right now? Did I read that correctly?
    ...

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    I won't speak for spikerS, but that is absolutely the aim of the government. And I think the government is accurately judging that its something many voters want.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tik-Tok View Post
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    I'd be lying if I said I didn't disagree.
    Quote Originally Posted by suntan View Post
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    His name isn't NICEramos.

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