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Friday, December 8th 2023

"I'm a travel junkie who's hooked on deals from YEG." - Chris Myden

Get your first shot now, if you want to be able to travel by September

Well, the floodgates have opened...

All Albertans 12 and older will be eligible for vaccines by Monday.

If you want to give yourself the chance to travel by September, without quarantines, and without the hassle and expense of paying for a covid test, I would strongly suggest getting your first shot as soon as you can.

As certain countries around the world decide how they want to handle tourists going forward, a few things are becoming clear...

Travel is going to be a lot easier for the vaccinated than it is for the unvaccinated.

- Countries that have already lifted restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers are telling unvaccinated travellers, "You can come too, but expect to go through the hassle and expense of testing and/or quarantines." Expect this to be the case for most countries going forward.

- Many countries around the world currently have test result and/or quarantine requirements for entry, for *all* travellers. They aren't adding restrictions for unvaccinated travellers, they are simply going to be allowing vaccinated travellers to bypass these restrictions that are already in place.

- Very soon here, Europe is going to decide what they want to recommend all their countries should do with vaccinated travellers, including Canadians. It is expected that European leisure travel for vaccinated tourists could re-start in a matter of weeks.


Countries (and cruise ships) will want you to be *fully* vaccinated

- European countries are going to want you to be fully vaccinated before allowing you to enter without restrictions.

This means if you were vaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca, you need to have your second dose to be considered fully vaccinated.

Not only that, it is very likely they are going to want you to be fully vaccinated for at least 2 weeks, as we are already seeing with Croatia, and is very likely going to be the case across most of Europe when the decision is announced.

- The handful of other countries around the world that have already eliminated or reduced restrictions for the vaccinated (Bahamas, Belize, The Maldives, The Seychelles) also want you to be *fully* vaccinated, and usually for a minimum of 2-3 weeks, so expect that to be the trend going forward in the Caribbean, Central America, and elsewhere as other countries eliminate restrictions for the vaccinated.

- It's hard to wrap my head around this, but virtually all of the major cruise lines will be back up and running by this summer (including Celebrity, Holland, Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean). They have announced their individual requirements for boarding, and while they vary a bit, the general consensus is: you must be fully vaccinated (both doses) for at least 2 weeks to board.

So, if you get your first dose in early May...

... and it's 16 weeks until your second dose, that puts us at early September. Add another 2 weeks on top, and it's mid-September.

Of course, things could change, and maybe it will be possible to get your second dose a little earlier than expected. Maybe.

As this all plays out, based on current trends, June will seemingly be Canada's month for things to start feeling like they are turning around. This 'starting to get back to normal' month was March for our over zealous neighbour to the south, and is this month for our more cautious motherland across the pond.

And if that is the case, surely, surely, within 3 months of *our* 'getting back to normal' month, we truly will have our lives back. Without hotel quarantines. Hopefully even sooner.

So be prepared for that day, and get that first shot now.

Where you can make your vaccine appointment

Vaccine Booking through Alberta Health Services

Blue Cross: Find a Pharmacy (map of pharmacies, and the vaccines they offer)

Shoppers Drug Mart

Safeway / Sobeys




Medicine Shoppe

Universal Health Centre

Vaccine Hunters (updates on availability & supply)

Tip: After you book at Telus you will get an e-mail. At the bottom of the e-mail there is a link to modify your appointment. Click that link, scroll down, and click on EDIT beside your day & time. It opens a new window that shows the earliest available appointment. Hit F5 every few seconds. Eventually, you will find a better slot, click it ASAP. After you click it, you will have 10 minutes to confirm the time works for you and book it.
If you want to keep looking, click the link in the new e-mail, rinse and repeat.
^^ Thanks to Canadianman on CalgaryPuck for the tip.

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