Prior to the World Health Organization designating Omciron a variant of concern nearly two months ago, air passenger momentum was steadily increasing at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were back up to about 50 per cent of our pre-pandemic travel going into the holidays but that’s since dropped off again. And, we’re now back down to the 25 to 30 per cent range,” said Tiffany Chase, the public affairs director with the Halifax International Airport Authority .
The Public Health Agency of Canada has had a Level 3 travel advisory in place since mid-December; which discourages all international non-essential travel.
For fully vaccinated Nova Scotians who do choose to travel abroad, Chase says there are several safety requirements and measures in place upon departure and return.
“You are required to upload your vaccination status, there’s a pre-departure test before you get back to Canada that has to be negative, once you arrive here in Halifax you should expect to be tested again, then self-isolate until you get those negative results,” Chase said.
PCR testing is available on-site at the Halifax airport for travelers re-entering the country.
The branch manager of a Halifax travel agency says the more information Nova Scotians have, the more confidence they regain in booking trips.
“A lot of people want to know ‘do we sell COVID insurance if you were to get a positive test in a destination.’ Of course, yes we are set up to do that. It’s nice that the isolation and quarantine have been reduced a little bit,” said Myranda Miller with Maritime Travel.
Miller says the desire for Nova Scotians to escape to warmer weather destinations is highest during January and February.
“People are going down, they need the break, a lot of people are making their own decisions, and they’re ready to go down, and be by the beach, enjoy the sun,” she said.
According to the federal government website, people who have recovered from COVID-19 are exempt from re-entry testing if they provide a result of their positive molecular test no more than 180 days prior to Jan. 15.
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.