Travel Life 2021/2022 - Canada Plans

Crystal

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Yeah not happy Jan !!!!!!. I've started planning a NZ ski trip just to get in some turns. lets hope things get better there with higher vaccine roll outs. Kids out of school is just not a good thing for most.
 

sly_karma

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BC is not far behind either. Rolling 7 days average is 1000 new cases a day now, and ICU admits are about to surpass the high mark set a year ago. The variants are so prevalent that the province isn't bothering to test every case, just assumes they're all variants now. Vaccines are rolling out well now, everyone will have first shot by end of May, but it's gonna be a grim April. Combination of pandemic fatigue and the new variants is deadly.
 

main street

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BC is not far behind either. Rolling 7 days average is 1000 new cases a day now, and ICU admits are about to surpass the high mark set a year ago. The variants are so prevalent that the province isn't bothering to test every case, just assumes they're all variants now. Vaccines are rolling out well now, everyone will have first shot by end of May, but it's gonna be a grim April. Combination of pandemic fatigue and the new variants is deadly.

Lockdowns are coming to BC soon methinks.
 
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Roymond

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BC is not far behind either. Rolling 7 days average is 1000 new cases a day now, and ICU admits are about to surpass the high mark set a year ago. The variants are so prevalent that the province isn't bothering to test every case, just assumes they're all variants now. Vaccines are rolling out well now, everyone will have first shot by end of May, but it's gonna be a grim April. Combination of pandemic fatigue and the new variants is deadly.
What is the patient breakdown entering hospital/ICU? is it still the oldies or are the demographics trending younger?
 

Chalkie

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This month is the crunch. They'll extend current restrictions for sure. Full stay at home order? I'd say 50/50.

I can't see how the Chief Health Officer can in good conscience not impose a stay at home order. She must be looking at Ontario - that should serve as sufficient inspiration alone.

And continued entreaties and "advisories" (rather than orders) are not cutting it. Worrying about difficulties of enforcement is not a reason to refrain from an order. Now is the time to do a 4 week stay at home order.
 

sly_karma

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Vaccines are already being felt. Hospitalisation and mortality in the over 80s age group has dropped way down, whereas until recently that age group had accounted for over 80% of the 1500 COVID deaths in BC. We're still on track to have a first dose in all adults by end of June, second dose by end of Sept. The variants are responsible for this third wave, but the vaccines are going to clamp it down once the numbers add up. Will be a very different landscape by September.

It should be noted we have yet to experience a full Stay At Home order in BC, currently people are asked to work from home where possible, and avoid unnecessary travel, but schools remain open and restaurants are doing takeaway and outdoor dining. More people are working now in BC than were before the pandemic. Somehow in the midst of all this our economy is booming, real estate prices are off the chart and anyone that wants to work can get a job somewhere (maybe not their usual field, but a job). They've done the balancing act fairly well overall, although now it looks like we might have tripped within sight of the finishing line.
 
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sly_karma

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I can't see how the Chief Health Officer can in good conscience not impose a stay at home order. She must be looking at Ontario - that should serve as sufficient inspiration alone.

And continued entreaties and "advisories" (rather than orders) are not cutting it. Worrying about difficulties of enforcement is not a reason to refrain from an order. Now is the time to do a 4 week stay at home order.
Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal probably need it. Interior and Island could do OK as we are - IF the barriers truly do go up. People are ignoring the advisories and traveling anyway. Winery parking areas are full here every weekend and we're nowhere near busy season yet.
 
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main street

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COVID-19 hospitalizations are at record highs in B.C. Here's what we know (msn.com)

For the past several weeks, the number of hospitalizations in B.C. due to COVID-19 has hit record numbers — and with it, concern from experts that numbers will continue to spike, with doctors and nurses becoming too overwhelmed with new patients to effectively treat them.

"Right now, we have the capacity, but it's very important that we act to try and flatten the curve as quickly as possible using the tools at our disposal," said Vancouver Infectious Disease Centre medical director Dr. Brian Conway.

An independent COVID-19 modelling group in B.C. has released a report warning of the potential of more than 3,000 people in hospitals within a month if transmission levels stay at the levels they were at March.

Here's what we can say at this current moment.

What are the numbers?
As of April 14, there were an all-time high 397 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in B.C. An all-time high 120 of those people were also in critical care, still testing positive for the virus.

That last part is important: it effectively means that while the province's total is correct, the critical care number could appear misleading, as there can be people still in ICU wards who entered for COVID-19, but are no longer counted in the critical care number, still causing stress on the critical care system.

The total number of people in hospital and testing positive in critical care units are both at record highs in the pandemic, and the number of new people entering critical care each week is at a higher point than the second wave — from around 35-45 each week in the 2nd wave to between 50 and 70 a week in the 3rd wave.

"With the number of cases going up to record levels, it is not surprising that hospitalizations … are increasing in parallel with this," said Conway.

Are young people being hospitalized more?
However, some of the anecdotes about a dramatic shift in hospitalizations to young people do not appear to be borne out by the data, at least so far.

In the most recent week of available data from March 27 to April 3, just 19 per cent of new hospital patients were under the age of 50, compared to 25 per cent for the entire pandemic.

But there has been a rise in overall COVID-19 cases across B.C., and with that, the overall number of people under 50 needing hospitalization has also gone up — 40 of them in the last week of available data, the highest in the pandemic.

"We're seeing a slight decrease in the average age of people hospitalized, simply because the most vulnerable population in terms of [age] have by-and-large been immunized and are thankfully not part of the current wave as they were a year ago," said Conway.

Data provided from the B.C. government has shown a slightly higher rate of hospitalization among people 50 and older that were infected with a variant, but the sample size provided was small.

Where are hospitalizations happening?
And just as the age distribution of hospitalizations isn't dramatically changing, neither is the geographical distribution.

In the last 12 days, 212 people in Fraser Health have been hospitalized for COVID-19, compared to 206 in the rest of the province. At the same time, the region has just three core hospitals for COVID-19 care — Royal Columbian, Surrey Memorial, and Abbotsford Regional — which is less than Vancouver Coastal Health.

"This is a challenge we need to face, understanding it a bit better, [in order] to intervene to control the pandemic in Fraser Health a bit better and a bit more efficiently," said Conway, who argued the province should consider prioritizing the region for vaccinations in the coming weeks to reduce community transmission.

The province has already postponed a few surgeries in Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health due to the increase in hospitalizations, but the Ministry of Health was unable to provide data on the number of available beds at its core COVID-19 hospitals.

"We haven't really touched that surge occupancy yet, but we're taking steps," said Health Minister Adrian Dix, calling it a "significant pressure" on the system.

Dix also said the province may choose to "pivot, pause or shift our delivery to maximize protection to as many people as possible," but has said the age-based approach to immunizations that has mostly been utilized will remain the status quo.

For the moment, Conway worries where hospitalization numbers will go if the average of daily new cases doesn't start decreasing soon.

"If that does not occur, [we need] to enhance the measures that are in place to flatten the curve more uniformly and decisively."
 
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sly_karma

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Generally agree, but the author misses what I think is a key difference: generations of Australians and New Zealanders have been raised to understand the dangers posed by invasive species and biological threats from outside. We know how vulnerable out isolation makes us if something gets in, so we are generally accepting of quarantine measures. This societal agreeance does not exist in Canada or the US.

The "hit it hard, hit it fast" approach in Aus and NZ has proven effective for sure. The Atlantic provinces banded together as usual (known as the Lobster Mafia for a reason) and closed their borders and imposed strict travel restrictions within the provinces. They got a similar result to Australia, a tale of two pandemics within the same country. Although the Newfies had an epic fail, trying to hold provincial elections when a spike in cases led to imposition of stay at home orders in some areas and last minute cancelation of in person voting. Disputed results and legal action pending.

The rest of the country fell victim to legendary Canadian politeness, failing again and again to use or enforce the legislative tools available. Mandatory hotel quarantine upon re entry to Canada wasn't imposed until February 2021, and is still not systematically enforced. Some people are simply refusing to do it - mostly because of the cost - and they're able to do so because there's not always someone at the airport to directly escort them to quarantine. This is NOT the time for the honour system!

Premiers announce "strict new measures" to bend the curve, but allow several days' notice to give people time to prepare. Result: everyone rushes out to shop or visit friends before it's all cut off, bringing about the surge of contacts that the strict new measures were supposed to prevent. Classic politician move - hoping people won't hate them too much.

Moving to the hard and fast style of management after a year of trying to finesse it won't work. Ontario announced last week that police now had power to stop citizens on the street and ask why they weren't observing the Stay At Home order. Massive outrage on the socials, and leaders of two regional police forces declared their officers would do no such thing. Would have been a different story if this had happened a year ago when people really were listening to leaders.
 

Chalkie

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Finally a small amount of action - not strict enough IMO but it's a start - the Premier announced today that BC will issue provincial health orders actually restricting non-essential travel outside one's health authority, and enforce it with spot checks. The order will be in place until 29 May (indoor dining bans extended until then too).

The other good news today is that the AZ vaccine has been extended to 40+. Though of course what is granted with one hand is taken with the other - I can't register at my local Shoppers because of the Rogers mobile phone network outage (there's no way to provide a verification code right now).
 

sly_karma

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Still too much of the softly softly today though @Chalkie - they're putting signs up at the Alberta-BC border to let people know it's not OK to come in. Signs, FFS. No self-respecting Albertan is gonna chuck a u-ie and go home because there's a sign.

Things are grim in ON, and BC is only a couple of weeks behind if we don't knuckle down. I better do my part; trips to the cabin are now canceled.
 

Chalkie

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Still too much of the softly softly today though @Chalkie - they're putting signs up at the Alberta-BC border to let people know it's not OK to come in. Signs, FFS. No self-respecting Albertan is gonna chuck a u-ie and go home because there's a sign.

Things are grim in ON, and BC is only a couple of weeks behind if we don't knuckle down. I better do my part; trips to the cabin are now canceled.

I just don't get the softly softly approach in BC given what's happening in Ontario.

We have a trip to Nanaimo booked for June, but I doubt that will be happening. Fingers crossed we'll be able to do our far northern BC trip in late August (we've booked a motor home!!!).
 
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Chalkie

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I get the feeling now that most BC people would prefer a short but intense crackdown. Get it over with, knock the cases down and let warm weather and vaccines sort out the rest.

I agree. The dilly-dallying and hand-wringing over the travel restrictions and enforcing them is a bit mind-boggling!
 

teleroo

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Generally agree, but the author misses what I think is a key difference: generations of Australians and New Zealanders have been raised to understand the dangers posed by invasive species and biological threats from outside. We know how vulnerable out isolation makes us if something gets in, so we are generally accepting of quarantine measures. This societal agreeance does not exist in Canada or the US.
.

Some truth to this I reckon. Returning Australians have always received a quarantine grilling with authorities on the lookout for much more than naughty contraband. And having to fill out those little quarantine cards. Oh and the hosties doing a run down the isles with the bug spray too. Welcome to Australia. But yeah, we've long accepted there are bugs out there in the world we might not want at home.
 

zac150

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It’s interesting reading @sly_karma and @Chalkie views, thanks! Over hear especially on the Thredbo snow pages on Facebook there are a few people promoting o/s travel telling anyone that will listen that o/s travel at Xmas will happen.

then I read here and chuckle to myself as those people clearly have no idea what you guys are going through.
 
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sly_karma

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Ontario today reporting 4000 new cases (population comparable to NSW).
BC 1000 new cases at last report. Population almost 5 million.
 

Chalkie

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It’s interesting reading @sly_karma and @Chalkie views, thanks! Over hear especially on the Thredbo snow pages on Facebook there are a few people promoting o/s travel telling anyone that will listen that o/s travel at Xmas will happen.

then I read here and chuckle to myself as those people clearly have no idea what you guys are going through.

It is very hard right now to predict what Christmas will look like here. Some variables are:

1. the extent of the vaccination rollout - this is affected by vaccine supply (ongoing issues on a few fronts - while Pfizer supply currently seems to have stablised, Moderna has not; India (from where some of our AZ supplies were coming) has stopped exports; the US is hinting at exports (AZ for now, and maybe Pfizer, Moderna and J&J if the US finds itself in an excess supply situation) but other than some AZ, hasn't yet stumped up any; and European supply generally remains a bit on tenterhooks because of the potential for export bans to be imposed at any time) and whether people choose to be vaccinated;

2. what's happening in the USA - vaccine supply isn't an issue there, but access to vaccination can be and if the reports are to be believed, there will be significant cohorts that will refrain from vaccination. The porosity of the US-Canada border may give other countries pause in opening up to Canada if come next winter the US is back up Shite Creek without a paddle; and

3. what happens to case numbers, hospitalisations and deaths against the background of the summer months and current restrictions (and for how long they are maintained), the progress of vaccination and what happens as we head into autumn and winter.

The encouraging sign on the vaccination front is there is currently more demand for vaccination than there is supply (at least in Ontario and British Columbia; it can be hard to know what's going on in the other provinces). People are actively seeking vaccination, and there's daily stories of people lining up for hours when vaccination pop up clinics are announced or when changes to eligibility criteria are made. The impression I have is that the people who want to have done everything they can to be ready to receive their vaccination (eg, registering on the government and pharmacy websites etc), now they just want and need the shot.

The effect of vaccination thus far is it is concentrating infections into younger demographics. This is what the age distribution in BC looks like:

BC covid cases.jpg


70,000 cases out of 123,000 total cases so far are in the under-40s, and that proportion will only increase from now. They have virtually no access to vaccines (unless they have a serious medical condition which permits them to queue jump), and won't until after June if (and that's a big IF) the current vaccine supply is maintained.

So there are currently a lot of moving targets, and predicting whether we will hit any of them is pretty fraught. At least as far as BC is concerned, there are now actual intra-provincial travel bans in place to reinforce the hitherto rather tepid government messaging about "staying local". Those bans, in combination with the existing restrictions on "gatherings" (which appear to be largely ignored by the under 40 set) and restaurant/bar closures, are in place until the end of May. We will see whether those measures, and ongoing vaccinations, start to drive the stubbornly high "third wave" numbers down.

Christmas is a very, very long way off.
 

main street

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When discussions on when the US/CAN border "might" open are starting to get to a maybe late summer/fall type scenario...... Which gives leeway to late October-ish timelines,.... Then one could make a solid argument that the US/CAN land border would be open for about 6 months (at least) before any consideration would be given to full on OS tourism......

When will the Canada-U.S. border reopen? (msn.com)

Probably not a bad outlook if people wanted a summer 2022 trip.....
 
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main street

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Probably not a bad outlook if people wanted a summer 2022 trip.....


Turns out that Australia is beating Canada to the first punch......

But I was right...... Summer 2022 at the earliest.



Shock Budget detail reveals Australia's international border will be shut until mid-2022 - another YEAR away - and it could get worse if there's another Covid-19 outbreak
  • Australians won't be travelling overseas until at least the middle of 2022
  • That's according to Federal Budget 2021 forecasts released on Tuesday
  • Officials assume there will be a 'gradual' return to normal travel after that
  • Last year the government predicted borders would be open by October 2021

Australians won't be travelling overseas again until at least the middle of 2022 the government predicts - in a major shift on its previous claim that the border could reopen by October this year.

Government forecasts released in federal budget documents on Tuesday say that inbound and outbound international travel into Australia 'will remain low through to mid-2022.'

But officials assume there will then be a 'gradual' return to normal travel after that point.

Last year the Government predicted international borders would be open in October 2021 after the whole adult population has been offered a vaccination.

However, this timeline has now been pushed back as Australia's vaccination rollout falls behind due to supply shortages and vaccine hesitancy.

Even when the borders open, Treasury officials admit the number of Aussies travelling overseas won't return to pre-pandemic levels for some time.

Tonight's forecast is only a government assumption which could be wrecked at any point by a serious Covid outbreaks or mutant virus variants.

At the weekend, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the border would remain closed 'indefinitely' to protect the Australian way of life.

'We sit here as an island that's living like few countries in the world are at the moment,' he said.

'We have to be careful not to exchange that way of life for what everyone else has.




Nobody out,..... Nobody in......
 
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sly_karma

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From April 15:
Still too much of the softly softly today though @Chalkie - they're putting signs up at the Alberta-BC border to let people know it's not OK to come in. Signs, FFS. No self-respecting Albertan is gonna chuck a u-ie and go home because there's a sign.

Things are grim in ON, and BC is only a couple of weeks behind if we don't knuckle down. I better do my part; trips to the cabin are now canceled.

A much improved vaccine rollout and the measures I decried a month ago as too gentle appear to be getting the job done. BC has halved its new infection rates and the other metrics are trending in a good direction as well. The feds announced yesterday that 50% (18 million) of Canadians have now had at least one shot.

Third wave has crested and is receding. Will there be a fourth, as there was in the Spanish flu pandemic a century ago? My feeling is that is up to the premiers. Those who lift restrictions too soon and trust the vaccines too much might find themselves bedeviled by a persistent tail end that won't lie down (in the form of more new variants).

The variants are going to pester us worldwide, and unrestricted international travel seems a long way off. Restricted travel a la the trans Tasman bubble and the UK's green/yellow/red rating system is more likely, but will be subject to rapid change as covid outbreaks appear in various places.

The ANZAC border will remain airtight for a good long while yet. Longstanding institutional and cultural averrance to imported bio hazards will cause govts to maintain the border closures and the public will support it. Even in nth america there is widespread support for continuing closure of the Canada US border. That measure was absolutely momentous 14 months ago but very few give it a second thought now.
 

Chalkie

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Third wave has crested and is receding. Will there be a fourth, as there was in the Spanish flu pandemic a century ago? My feeling is that is up to the premiers. Those who lift restrictions too soon and trust the vaccines too much might find themselves bedeviled by a persistent tail end that won't lie down (in the form of more new variants).

I think the problem will be less trust in the vaccines than whether a very solid vaccination rate is achieved. I mentioned upthread or somewhere else that polls have shown a steady increase since December 2020 in the number of Canadians willing to be vaccinated and it is now about 75%. If we can get that to 80%, and the over 12 set get Pfizered as Health Canada has now approved Pfizer for them, the persistent tail should hopefully be quashed. As you know, I'd like to see a more stentorian approach to things like vaccination in schools and universities (and generally), but the prevailing climate of niceness will tend against that...

The ANZAC border will remain airtight for a good long while yet. Longstanding institutional and cultural averrance to imported bio hazards will cause govts to maintain the border closures and the public will support it. Even in nth america there is widespread support for continuing closure of the Canada US border. That measure was absolutely momentous 14 months ago but very few give it a second thought now.

Australia is a lost cause. That's a bitter pill to swallow for those of us who are in effect denied family reunions. I just keep my fingers crossed that my family remains healthy and no misfortune befalls them for the time being.

I wonder how long the US-Canada border closure will remain in place though. US case numbers, hospitalisations and deaths have been steadily trending downwards as vaccination rates have increased, and even though the vaccination rate is now trending downwards, the US is still doing just under 2 million doses per day. Just on 60% of adults have had at least one shot, and if the current numbers are sustained, the US might hit Biden's 4 May goal of 70% first shots by 4 July. If Canada's vaccination rate continues to climb now that age-based eligibility is quickly opening up and the provinces are employing targeted vaccination strategies, we could by mid-summer see comparable overall vaccination rates in the US and Canada. Will the case for keeping the border closed be as strong if that turns out to be so?
 

Captain Caveman

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Don't know that Aus is a lost cause or not but I do understand the feeling you have as I am in exactly the same position from down under. It's certainly frustrating and emotional but it will get better and if it is another year which let's be realistic, it will be, then we all need to just hang on and know it's out of our control regardless of logic
 
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sly_karma

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Apart from families that straddle both sides of the border, and some parts of the tourism industry, not many people are heavily affected by the US border closure. The commercial aspects of the border were dealt with a year ago, so with trade operating pretty well there isn't all that much pressure to reopen. Canada is catching up on vax rate, passing the 50% mark a couple of days ago and expecting to have all first shots complete by end of June. Will that be 70% of eligible? 75%? Will the vax suppliers shit the bed again and leave all the plans in tatters like they did in Jan and Feb?

Both govts will want to see solid vax rates and falling new case counts before any changes to border policy. As I've said before, the major risk for Canada is our citizens returning to their old habit of frequent quickie trips across the border for cheap fuel, dairy and alcohol. That would cause far more contacts than the perceived hordes of american tourists heading north.
 

main street

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I think the CDC has made a massive blunder.

I can just feel millions of self entitled 'Murcans that are NOT vaccinated discarding masks and behaving like everything has returned to complete normal.

One must remember that being vaccinated means that you may still get the virus,.... It is simply far less likely to kill you.

I suspect the US will see an uptick in cases or at the very least, a plateau at current levels,..... It's always the last 20% that is the most difficult to conquer...... That will mean the border will stay closed for a while yet to both Americans & other international travelers.


Australia is a lost cause. That's a bitter pill to swallow for those of us who are in effect denied family reunions. I just keep my fingers crossed that my family remains healthy and no misfortune befalls them for the time being.

Agreed.

We had a 3 week trip planned for May of 2020 to see my father & catch up with the kids and that will most likely not happen now until after June of 2022 or even 2023..... We have put the prospects of such a trip out of our thoughts totally for now...... Dad will never travel here so a trip back to Aus will be "all about him", but the kids can and most likely will come over (in batches) at some point after the restrictions lift..... The benefits of having a self contained guest suite in the house.
 
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sly_karma

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I was hoping for a trip back to Oz this coming January as well, can't see it happening now unfortunately. Parents are 82 and although in excellent health, that could change very quickly.

Plan B would be 3 weeks in Mexico. Plan C is stay home and ski a lot. First world problems.
 

main street

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Chalkie

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75% before the US/CAN border will open.....

Canada will need 75% vaccination before U.S. border reopens, Trudeau suggests (msn.com)

46% have had one dose and only 3.8% are fully vaccinated.

We are a ways off yet & it ties in with the Sep/Oct "at the earliest" opening of the land border I mentioned earlier..... Other international access will be a good while after that IMHO.

Fortunately though things are moving pretty fast on the vaccination front, and everything (except in Saskatchewan; see below) is heading in the right direction. The last 7 days has seen over 300,000 people vaccinated per day on average, and with significant additional deliveries of vaccines this week, that rate is projected to keep rising. With 34,000,000 million people over 12, 17,000,000 already having had a first dose, and assuming an average hesitancy rate of 16%, that leaves 14,280,000 people left to whom to give a first dose. If the rate of 300,000 per day continues, it will be 47 days to complete the first doses:

CA1.jpg

And the other good news is hesitancy rates are steadily falling (except in Saskatchewan, oddly). BC is winning (yay) - looks like the hesitancy rate is bottoming out here at 10%. And it looks like Alberta has been shaken into sense - let's hope that keeps trending downwards too:

CA2.jpg


Let's keep our fingers and toes crossed!!!
 

sly_karma

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BC alone is knocking off ~60K a day at the moment. But 6 weeks ago everyone was complaining about slow rollout. Different story now, today they invited 12-18 yr odds to register. Once the vaccine supply becomes reliable, the health authorities can really rock through the age groups.
 

skipperlee

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ive bit the bullet and bought flights to calgary in mid jan 2022 -price was too good to miss and is fully changeable should covid interfere with things - 3 weeks looking to hit revelstoke, kicking horse, fernie , banff ski areas and maybe panorama . looking to do 1 day heli and 1 day cat - anyone got any 1st hand info on which is best heli/cat operators ? and any other resort worth looking at ? we are 2 boarders/1skier all experienced looking for powder runs mainly. tia.
 

sly_karma

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Penticton, BC
ive bit the bullet and bought flights to calgary in mid jan 2022 -price was too good to miss and is fully changeable should covid interfere with things - 3 weeks looking to hit revelstoke, kicking horse, fernie , banff ski areas and maybe panorama . looking to do 1 day heli and 1 day cat - anyone got any 1st hand info on which is best heli/cat operators ? and any other resort worth looking at ? we are 2 boarders/1skier all experienced looking for powder runs mainly. tia.
Revelstoke has more cat and heli operators per square [insert unit of your choice here] than anywhere on earth. A couple offer single day options. Normal industry practice is multi day with accommodation package. So Revy is a good starting point for your research. Just be aware that odds of a weather shutout are high for a single day of heli - lots of no fly weather in the powder belt. Cat skiing is less vulnerable to weather, but not impervious.
 
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sly_karma

Green Bastard
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Dec 12, 2005
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Penticton, BC
Also January is early season for back country operations. Snowpack builds slowly but steadily in the interior. There will be runs available but not as many options for the guides compared to Feb or March. But for first time heli and cat experience, your mind will be just as blown.

Suggest booking early. After a full season denied to them, American regulars will be panting for their BC powder fix. Contact operator directly and explore how to book given possibility of Aussies not allowed to travel in Jan 2022.
 
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