Canadian travellers happy with relaxed COVID rules at airport

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It was so nice to fly to Toronto from Nice — with no mandatory quarantine.

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Katharina Cole — a translator who lives in Nice, France — said she was glad to be back at Pearson International Airport with her two sons, Leo, 12, and Max, 6, after being away for three years.

Cole and her sons were among passengers who enjoyed the first day of relaxed federal flying rules that kicked in at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

Cole booked the flight knowing new regulations would be in effect — and also on the same day both her sons’ Canadian passports were about to expire.

“We were very happy to see by chance that the rules started at midnight and one minute after,” said Cole.

“The administration to fly back was pretty intense, but we understand it is special times and that’s what it takes,” said Cole. “And we are glad to be here and be handled very safely.”

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After landing, they were headed off to London, Ont., as their final destination.

Under the more relaxed rules, fully vaccinated Canadians no longer have to quarantine for 14 days and spend three days in a government hotel.

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Travellers who aren’t vaccinated will still be required to quarantine, partake in the mandatory three-day hotel stay, and are subject to an additional COVID test on the eighth day of their quarantine.

Tricia Tieleman, a registered nurse who has taught in Dubai and Doha for the past decade, was back for her yearly two-month trip to see friends and family in Waterloo.

She was supposed to fly Friday but when she saw the rule change, “I quickly changed my flight” for Monday.

  1. International arrivals at Toronto's Pearson airport.

    Domestic COVID flights increased in Canada from April to May

  2. Passengers stroll the departure terminal at Calgary International Airport on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

    Calgary airport tops the list for domestic COVID cases

  3. The arrivals lineup in Terminal One at Pearson International Airport on Feb. 22, 2021.

    Man nabbed with suspected fake COVID document at Pearson airport

Tieleman said in Dubai, she was fully vaccinated in early January.

“Right now, about 80% of residents in Dubai are vaccinated,” said Tieleman. “And we (Dubai) have been fully open, with only one lockdown in March and April of last year.”

— With files by Bryan Passifiume

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