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Travel during the continuing PANDEMIC


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Rich....that is a very slippery slope indeed! Almost every action can be justified by " the greater good". It is in fact the fight to respect the rights of the few that best protects the many.

Dagger has posted photos of revellers ignoring Covid rules. Similar photos circulated last Spring. Dagger has also referenced the variant. A similar variant was recognized months ago....one that seemed to more readily infect the young; more easily transmitted but less severe.

What did Canada do since last March to protect the population? Take a moment and think of that "stay at home" dictate. You're 60 years plus. You live in a townhome. It is winter. What the hell do you do? Stare at the electric fireplace reading a book day after day? Bundle up and brave the ice to walk the dog?

Not all Canadian travellers are partying in Cancun!! Most are continuing to eke out an existence in  warmer climes for their physical and mental health.

Many insurers offer 33 day coverage with multiple visits permitted...but you must come home for at least a day.

Remarkably ( tongue-in-cheek) a PCR test for travellers costs $190 per test at Shoppers and $190 per test in Florida.

And...is a negative test an assurance of anything? No!!

Please be mindful that under current regs to the Quarantine Act, a Canadian resident with Covid symptoms is admissible to Canada. So...shift the burden to carriers such as AC and tell them...you can't transport ANYONE who is not exempt and who does not have a negative PCR.

This is simply wrong and, in my opinion, legally indefensible.

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I wanted to add that Charter rights CAN be abridged and there exists a process for legislating such infringements.

The government...a minority government... cannot be permitted to do so by regulation.

Where the he** (heck)....are the Conservatives??

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42 minutes ago, UpperDeck said:

Please be mindful that under current regs to the Quarantine Act, a Canadian resident with Covid symptoms is admissible to Canada. 

Someone with Covid symptoms or who is Covid positive is admissible to Canada, but they aren't admissible to an aircraft.  They should be in isolation.  If the test requirement keeps Covid positive folks out of my workplace that's a good thing.  That, however, is clearly not the objective of the requirement or it would have been imposed for travel on domestic flights too.  I'd support expansion of the YYC project in order to get rid of the 14 day quarantine requirement for travellers.

Edited by FA@AC
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10 hours ago, Rich Pulman said:

Does anyone else get tired of people talking about their “rights”? It’s almost like they’re not aware of how those “rights” were promulgated. Our society gives you your “rights” and our society can amend and/or suspend your “rights”. During this unprecedented time, society has cordially requested that you limit your “right” to travel in order to protect your fellow citizens. Would martial law be preferable?

Feel free to address me directly Rich. Your reply reads a little passive aggressive there.

Why don't you tell me how my right to enter my country was promulgated then.

I am suggesting that returning to your home is a right that cannot be suspended so easily. They aren't suspending access through land borders.

Suspending a right detailed in the charter required an explicit declaration by a parliament or legislature in this country under the notwithstanding clause. Has that happened? No. So absent that, it's an arbitrary suspension of rights without debate or transparency by our elected representatives.

Martial law? Get real... that though would also require some debate in parliament at least.

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4 hours ago, j.k. said:

So absent that, it's an arbitrary suspension of rights without debate or transparency by our elected representatives.

Your right to enter the country has not been suspended.  Your "right" to board an aircraft while Covid positive never existed.

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19 hours ago, j.k. said:

What's your suggestion then. 

Canadians have a constitutional right to exit and enter this country. You can't prevent them from coming home. That's their right. 

Your likelihood of missing an infected arrival on a false negative in rapid tests are slim, especially when you do follow up testing and robust contact tracing.  The risk is minimal and better than what we've been doing for the past 10 months, and it doesn't deny people their rights.

Even if you support remote testing, understand that you are certain to be stripping healthy Canadians of their right to enter their own country as false positives on PCR tests can be very high. Depending on the population false positives can be well over 50%.

You cannot have contradictory messaging - avoid all non-essential travel, but if you want to go to Hawaii, we'll make it easier for you. Shortening quarantine and other measures to encourage travel will come when the virus is contained.

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14 hours ago, FA@AC said:

Someone with Covid symptoms or who is Covid positive is admissible to Canada, but they aren't admissible to an aircraft.  They should be in isolation.  If the test requirement keeps Covid positive folks out of my workplace that's a good thing.  That, however, is clearly not the objective of the requirement or it would have been imposed for travel on domestic flights too.  I'd support expansion of the YYC project in order to get rid of the 14 day quarantine requirement for travellers.

Air Canada could impose conditions of carriage to protect its employees and pax.....but it did not.

The issue is whether the government has the authority to inhibit entry to Canadian residents by fiat.

Have to laugh...in the US an application to quash would be before the Court by now! 

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11 minutes ago, UpperDeck said:

The issue is whether the government has the authority to inhibit entry to Canadian residents by fiat.

The issue from my perspective is whether an individual has the right to board an aircraft while Covid positive thus putting other travellers and crew at risk.

If anybody wants to try that one on in court I'll watch with interest.

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You have the right to freedome oof travel.  nowhere in the charter does that define a "Mode" of travel.  Wanna Travel? WALK.

Driving is a PRIVLEDGE not a right

Air Travel is a PRIVLEDGE extended by a PRIVATE operator and not a right.

Travel by BOAT (unless privately owned) is a PRIVLEDGE extended by a PRIVATE operator and not a right.

Walking, Jogging, Running, Cycling etc are all within your RIGHTS to freedom of travel.

Does anyone actually ever read the back of the ticket where it says (paraphrase) you buy the ticket, we decide whether you travel?

 

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26 minutes ago, boestar said:

You have the right to freedome oof travel.  nowhere in the charter does that define a "Mode" of travel.  Wanna Travel? WALK.

Driving is a PRIVLEDGE not a right

Air Travel is a PRIVLEDGE extended by a PRIVATE operator and not a right.

Travel by BOAT (unless privately owned) is a PRIVLEDGE extended by a PRIVATE operator and not a right.

Walking, Jogging, Running, Cycling etc are all within your RIGHTS to freedom of travel.

Does anyone actually ever read the back of the ticket where it says (paraphrase) you buy the ticket, we decide whether you travel?

 

I agree and that is also why I think the requirement should also include entry into Canada by Road, Rail and Sea.  In fact it should also apply to any mode of travel that crosses provincial borders if we are indeed serious about limiting the spread.  

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2 hours ago, FA@AC said:

The issue from my perspective is whether an individual has the right to board an aircraft while Covid positive thus putting other travellers and crew at risk.

If anybody wants to try that one on in court I'll watch with interest.

Come on, Fa!! I said that airlines have the right to dictate terms of carriage but if government seeks to do so, it must comply with legislative obligations.

There is very little evidence...very little....that being on an aircraft with an asymptomatic pax poses a significant risk of infection to other pax. You know that, I am sure. I am presuming the wearing of a mask by all.

If you are sincerely concerned about the risks of infection....stay away from crew members. They are exempt from the regs but are in and out of provinces and countries and wandering the aisles of aircraft. Not concerned?

 

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I think everyone should take a deep breath. Driving is a "privilege". Really? I have access to a private jet and don't need to fly commercial. Am I less of a risk to others when I quarantine?

There must be a balance. You start by locking each and every individual in a closed cell and then begin with the exercise of reason to inch open the doors. Or....you have complete liberty and then impose restrictions to mitigate risk based upon results.

Many posters don't appear to appreciate that the greatest risk to their health is presented by their family members and close friends. I'm ballparking that somewhere around 80% of all infections derive from household gatherings.

You want to stop the spread? Prohibit family gatherings and limit households to 4 people. Would you think that reasonable? Obviously it won't happen but it would be more effective than requiring a negative PCR of Canadian residents travelling into the country by air!!

Finally (phew!)...which PCR test are we requiring? Is it 40 cycles or 25?

Don't know the difference? You should.

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34 minutes ago, UpperDeck said:

There is very little evidence...very little....that being on an aircraft with an asymptomatic pax poses a significant risk of infection to other pax. You know that, I am sure. I am presuming the wearing of a mask by all.

If you are sincerely concerned about the risks of infection....stay away from crew members. They are exempt from the regs but are in and out of provinces and countries and wandering the aisles of aircraft. Not concerned?

 

For the most part I'm comfortable working given all of the precautions that are in place.  Like most of us I have worked flights that turned out to have had Covid positive people on them, and given current infection rates I'm sure that I have worked plenty of them in addition to those of which I have been notified.

So far so good, but I still welcome a measure that might catch some Covid cases and exclude the travellers before they have the chance to board an aircraft.  I acknowledge that this isn't really the intent of the legislation and that the legislation's purpose is, supposedly, to keep Covid cases from being imported to Canada, but if my workplace becomes safer as a byproduct I'll take it.

If your argument is that people who have Covid have the right to leave isolation and board an aircraft--and this because they're Canadian and are thus entitled to enter Canada-- I don't think you'll have many people agreeing with you.  Nonetheless, litigate away if you wish.

Edited by FA@AC
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Exactly Rich! Canadians have been counselled since last March to avoid unnecessary travel. If a Canadian wishes/chooses to disregard that counsel and travel anyway then they should expect and be prepared for unexpected events and/or changed circumstances. For all intents and purposes, those who have chosen unnecessary travel during this pandemic have also chosen their destiny. Choices have consequences, dire and otherwise. Choose wisely, because making the wrong choice, while wrong, is still a "right". Living with a wrong decision is usually problematic and unpleasant.

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While we argue about restrictions our governments continue dropping the ball. We have known since March that the LTC homes are at incredibly high risk and yet NOTHING was done in the last 6-8 months to deal with that. If we can restrict movement then why can we not restrict and set requirements for the owners of the LTC homes? If required take them over! In Ontario the largest were paid $130 million in CERB and yet still paid out dividends all while doing almost nothing to mitigate risk. We KNOW that over 90% of deaths occur in these homes and this age group. But did nothing.

Seems convenient does it not to to simply blame the joe average and foist up a few examples of big get togethers.

No doubt that there should be restrictions but we need to question are leaders far more deeply and all I see is a compliant media who relish in scaremongering.

 

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If you can't restrict a Canadians right to travel, how did the Maritimes close their borders to everyone?

I would like to see the restrictions, negative test, quarantine, put in place for domestic travel as well.

And close all provincial borders to recreational travel, commerce only allowed.

 

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50 minutes ago, FA@AC said:

For the most part I'm comfortable working given all of the precautions that are in place.  Like most of us I have worked flights that turned out to have had Covid positive people on them, and given current infection rates I'm sure that I have worked plenty of them in addition to those of which I have been notified.

So far so good, but I still welcome a measure that might catch some Covid cases and exclude the travellers before they have the chance to board an aircraft.  I acknowledge that this isn't really the intent of the legislation and that the legislation's purpose is, supposedly, to keep Covid cases from being imported to Canada, but if my workplace becomes safer as a byproduct I'll take it.

If your argument is that people who have Covid have the right to leave isolation and board an aircraft--and this because they're Canadian and are thus entitled to enter Canada-- I don't think you'll have many people agreeing with you.  Nonetheless, litigate away if you wish.

FA....last word because I suspect we are passing in the night, so to speak. I have never suggested....nor would I...that persons should board an aircraft knowing or with reason to believe they are infected.

I pay for insurance to ensure that I am treated here in the US if ( God fobid) I am infected. I would never attempt to board an aircraft to return home.

What I said was that under current Regulations, a resident Canadian infected and with symptoms can enter Canada. Present yourself at the border and you must be admitted. However, regardless of the consent and participation of the airlines, a Canadian resident cannot board an aircraft bound for Canada without first obtaining a negative Covid test. False positive...no symptoms? Too bad. Get a lab that does 25 revs and you may get a negative result but be positive!!

Let me be clear....I fully support quarantine/isolation and I have fulfilled my obligations more than once. I complained in fact that monitoring compliance was wholly inadequate. Most recently, monitoring consisted of sending me a daily email.

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5 minutes ago, UpperDeck said:

I pay for insurance to ensure that I am treated here in the US if ( God fobid) I am infected. I would never attempt to board an aircraft to return home.

I'm sure you wouldn't, but there are those who do fly despite having symptoms.  From some of the news clips I have seen I'm in no doubt that Covid is spreading like wildfire among idiots partying like there's no tomorrow at certain destinations.  Despite the imperfections of testing I'd prefer to screen them before they board an aircraft to fly home.

I'm not one of those who thinks that all vacation travel now is irresponsible.  I do wonder about the wisdom of risking becoming ill at a destination where hospital capacity doesn't exist.  I don't find that those who spend time in places where infection rates are low compared to ours and who are careful are in any way being selfish as they're often made out to be.  We're more likely to catch Covid from a fellow Ontarian at home than we are from someone who has spent the last month in New Zealand or Barbados.

I can't think of any across the board policy that would make sense in the current situation, but I guess what has been decided (and seemingly not all that well thought out) will subject responsible travellers to an additional layer of hassle and expense.  Sucks, but it's temporary, it will probably keep a few Covid cases off flights, and I think that those who decide to travel will just have to accept it for now.

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Damn!! One more comment. This is an airline forum, right? One populated by airline employees and families active and retired?

Just exactly WHAT do you consider "necessary travel"? I have difficulty imagining why anyone would be compelled to go from "A" to "B" excluding emergency medical care.

Business? How essential is it that you meet in person?

If no one travels....no airlines...no jobs.

Look at the board. Flight after flight cancelled. Not enough pax. SLOA's every month and more "furloughs" in the pipeline.

Many of you must not be flying given your comments. I presume you are not socializing and limit your excursions to the grocery store. You're doing everything you can to protect yourself.

So why are you so adamant that others must toe the line you drew in that sand?

I spend my winters in the south and have done so for more than 30 years. I consider my travel "necessary" and I also believe I am safer here than I would be in Ontario.....at least right now!!

I suspect that the general "flavour" of this thread will prevail and that many potential "vacationers" will alter their plans and stay home rather than scramble to get acceptable tests. And more flights will be cancelled. And resorts will offer tests as part of the package.

By the way....early December, we went and got a PCR at the local Ontario public health facility. It took 4 days to get the EXPEDITED result!! 4 days from testing!! For our own reasons, we didn't want to board an aircraft to Florida until we had a negative test so had to keep revising our plans, waiting for those results.

And yet our government has the gall to insist upon quicker results from countries all over the world.

Sheesh!

 

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UpperDeck: not sure how you can claim that your wintering in the south fits into essential travel.

Quote
adjective
 
  1. 1.
    absolutely necessary; extremely important.
     
  2.  
noun
 
  1. a thing that is absolutely necessary.
    "we had only the bare essentials in the way of gear"

 

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17 minutes ago, Malcolm said:

UpperDeck: not sure how you can claim that your wintering in the south fits into essential travel.

 

Because it's "absolutely necessary"..  to me! And usually, "extremely important".

Both subjective terms, Malcolm.

Besides....I pose no threats to Canadians when I leave Canada. It's the return that is problematic and "essential".....the government requires certain things of me that I cannot fulfill from afar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, UpperDeck said:

Because it's "absolutely necessary"..  to me! And usually, "extremely important".

Both subjective terms, Malcolm.

Besides....I pose no threats to Canadians when I leave Canada. It's the return that is problematic and "essential".....the government requires certain things of me that I cannot fulfill from afar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re the Government requires, surely you mean, in order to continue to enjoy the benefits of being of our health coverage etc. you have to meet certain minimum criteria and therefore as you posted previously have to return every 30 days ......  I can understand that but    now that things have evolved I guess you may be making your next return to Canada the last (in other words staying in Canada) until the restrictions are again changed? Sort of between a rock and a hard place.

On an aside I see there is talk of compensating those caught by this change in rules. COVID-19: Canada might offer holiday travellers a relief benefit (msn.com)

 

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20 hours ago, FA@AC said:

The issue from my perspective is whether an individual has the right to board an aircraft while Covid positive thus putting other travellers and crew at risk.

If anybody wants to try that one on in court I'll watch with interest.

It isn't about traveling with Covid.

It's about traveling with a test report.

A report that the government has such little faith in apparently as they are still requiring 2 weeks quarantine on the other end.

 

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Malcolm....actually, while my insurance  coverage does have to be extended if I remain in the US, my next trip is required due to "financial interests" that necessitate my return mid-month January. I can't fulfill my obligations from here.

I haven't been in public ( including outdoor areas) without a mask and don't think I've come within 15 feet of another person since arrival at my residence before Xmas.

Obviously....I'll be paying that $190.

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Malcolm....if you're still there. You might find this of interest. There is an FLL flight to Toronto via YUL on Tuesday, Jan.12th. There are no flights operating FLL to YYZ . There is an MCO to YYZ on Jan.13th.

If I can get a PCR on Sunday and get the results within 48 hours, I can get on the FLL flight but I'd rather not go through YUL.

Presuming availability on the MCO non-stop, my test would be no good. For that flight, I have to get the test on Monday.

Flip a coin!

The loads are now changing so who knows whether one or the other might cancel or which will fill.

You're right, of course. The higher the barrier the greater the likelihood of people forgoing air travel.

But to what benefit....and at what expense?

 

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