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Canadian snowbirds find creative way to get to Florida

observor 69

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And as another Canadian winter approaches.  :D :cold:

Canadian snowbirds find a creative way to get to Florida — with their cars — despite closed border
Diane and Theo Rood, and their black Labrador, Abby, recently flew from Hamilton to Buffalo on their son's helicopter. Because of border restrictions, snowbirds like them are shipping their vehicles across the border using commercial haulers and then taking short flights across the border to reconnect with their vehicles. - Jeremy Rood

Up until a few weeks ago, Canadian snowbird Diane Rood and her husband, Theo, weren’t sure if they were going to be able to make it to their winter getaway in Florida this year, given the COVID-19-related restrictions on crossing the border by car.

“I have arthritis. The thought of staying in Canada with our cold, damp weather just seemed inconceivable,” she said.

The couple from Lambton Shores, Ont., who always drive to Florida, contemplated taking a commercial flight. But that would mean not having a vehicle when they arrived. Plus, they’d have to leave their beloved black Labrador, Abby, behind.

https://www.toronto.com/news-story/10242786-canadian-snowbirds-find-creative-way-to-get-to-florida-with-their-cars-despite-closed-border/
 

CBH99

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Pretty smart thinking actually  :nod:


Got around a closed border.  Got around flight restrictions.  Were even 'boss' enough to have a son with a bloody helicopter to whisk them over the border.


Don't hate the players, hate the game.  Well played  :D
 

Fishbone Jones

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Is there flight restrictions though? I know land borders are closed, except for Roxham Road which is just business as usual. We've have covid flights in and out of Pearson, which are ongoing. And daily flights from China into Vancouver. I was under the impression there was little restriction on flights.
 

Good2Golf

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Fishbone Jones said:
Is there flight restrictions though? I know land borders are closed, except for Roxham Road which is just business as usual. We've have covid flights in and out of Pearson, which are ongoing. And daily flights from China into Vancouver. I was under the impression there was little restriction on flights.

:nod:

If they want to head South badly enough, then fly, take the dog too, then buy a modest car locally and sell it leaving Florida next Spring to come home.

 

Fishbone Jones

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Good2Golf said:
:nod:

If they want to head South badly enough, then fly, take the dog too, then buy a modest car locally and sell it leaving Florida next Spring to come home.
I know people who have cars at their winter homes. They have people that charge the battery and get it ready for their visit. They just leave it there year round. Retirement areas are full of cheap, good cars that estates want to dump cheap and fast.
 

Cronicbny

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Fishbone Jones said:
Is there flight restrictions though? I know land borders are closed, except for Roxham Road which is just business as usual. We've have covid flights in and out of Pearson, which are ongoing. And daily flights from China into Vancouver. I was under the impression there was little restriction on flights.

You are correct. There are no restrictions on Canadian citizens wishing to fly into the United States (and back to Canada) and there are regular daily flights to US destinations from YVR, YYC, YYZ and YUL.

The only requirement is to follow quarantine guidelines at destination (if any) and on return to Canada.

Many snowbirds are shipping vehicles into the USA and flying to pick them up. This is also not restricted by the United States.
 

brihard

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Fishbone Jones said:
Is there flight restrictions though? I know land borders are closed, except for Roxham Road which is just business as usual. We've have covid flights in and out of Pearson, which are ongoing. And daily flights from China into Vancouver. I was under the impression there was little restriction on flights.

Apologies for shoving #BoughtMedia down your throat, but no, traffic at Roxham dropped off nearly completely early in the pandemic when the an agreement was struck with the States to turn everyone arriving there around. Recent court rulings have cast the entire future of STC into question, but in any case, Roxham and other illegal border crossing sites were finally successfully dealt with many months ago.

https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/lilley-pandemic-means-roxham-road-crossing-goes-from-deluge-to-a-trickle

/sidetrack

I hope our snowbirds finding ways across the border have been extremely diligent in making sure their Heath insurance down there will cover them with the country in the throes of a pandemic. I can see a lot of horror stories coming.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Brihard said:
I hope our snowbirds finding ways across the border have been extremely diligent in making sure their Heath insurance down there will cover them with the country in the throes of a pandemic. I can see a lot of horror stories coming.

If I was running an insurance company, and you didn't check with me beforehand, you may not like my backhand......
 

brihard

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Bruce Monkhouse said:
If I was running an insurance company, and you didn't check with me beforehand, you may not like my backhand......

Yup, insurance companies aren’t having a good time already to begin with. They’ll gleefully reject anything they can find an excuse to. Given that the government has issued travel advisories against non-essential travel outside of Canada, that’s really all the ammunition they need.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Brihard said:
Yup, insurance companies aren’t having a good time already to begin with.

You mean like my car insurance going up $23 a month next year?  No claims, tickets, nada, for the 30 years I've been with them.  I'm a pretty loyal guy, but I went to my house insurance folks [32 years] and left them the new policy and said "do better" and its yours.
 

Blackadder1916

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The couple in the OP story won't be alone.

Many snowbirds flocking south despite Canadian government's plea to seniors to stay home
https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/snowbirds-seniors-travel-advisory-canada-u-s-border-covid-19-1.5799456
Snowbird association estimates about 30% of its members will head south this winter

Sophia Harris · CBC News · Posted: Nov 14, 2020 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 2 hours ago

In anticipation of the winter travel season, the federal government has issued an online alert to seniors, advising them to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the message may have little impact on snowbirds who are determined to escape the Canadian winter.

"I don't like winter. I hate it. I hate it with a passion," said Steve MacDonald, 77, of Oakville, Ont. He has already booked a Dec. 3 flight to Florida for himself and his wife, so they can spend the winter at their rented condo in Key Largo.

"Down there, [I'll] be swimming outside and taking in some sun, getting some vitamin D and cheap rum."

He'll be in good company. The Canadian Snowbird Association estimates that around 30 per cent of its more than 110,000 members will head to the United States Sunbelt this winter — despite soaring COVID-19 cases in the country and the Canada-U.S. land border closure to non-essential traffic.

Snowbirds can still fly to the U.S. and ship their cars. But the Canadian government is asking seniors to think twice before leaving the country, because their age makes them more susceptible to falling seriously ill from COVID-19.

"If you are an older traveller, you may be immunocompromised or have chronic medical conditions, such as obesity, that put you at risk," states the government in its online alert targeting seniors.

"By choosing to stay home in Canada, you can help protect yourself, your family and those at risk … in our communities."

Global Affairs Canada posted the alert on its web page for "older travellers" on Oct. 1 — one day after CBC News published a story about Canadian snowbirds heading south despite the pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic in March, Global Affairs has advised all Canadians to avoid non-essential travel abroad. It says that the government may have limited capacity to help people who choose to leave Canada and then encounter problems.

Snowbird MacDonald never saw the government's alert for travelling seniors, and when he learned about it from CBC News this week, he wasn't swayed.

He said that he and his wife are healthy and plan to take all necessary precautions while in Florida, including sticking to their gated community.

"We're just gonna keep doing the same thing that we do here, like you don't go out with a bunch of people and party and have people over for dinner," said MacDonald. "I feel as safe going down there as I am here."

He also said that he has the added protection of COVID-19 medical insurance, in case something does go wrong. Insurance providers recently reinstated the coverage after suspending it for several months during the pandemic.

'Bucking the odds'

In September, travel insurance broker Martin Firestone told CBC News that less than 10 per cent of his 1,000 snowbird clients were heading south. But now, he said, close to one third are packing their bags.

"They're bucking the odds. They're basically saying, 'I'm going to go down there, and I'm going to be fine.'"

Firestone said that travelling abroad right now does carry risks, such as hospitals at a U.S. destination becoming overloaded with COVID-19 patients.

He believes the government should make seniors aware of the risks but says that an online post won't have much impact.

"It's on that website that very few seniors, I'm sure, check," said Firestone with Travel Secure in Toronto. "It should have been a campaign that appeared in newsprint and media and magazines."

CBC News asked Global Affairs if it was planning an ad campaign; it didn't respond.

. . .


And back in September some insurance companies, in conjunction with airlines, saw it as a business opportunity.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/covid-19-coverage-travel-insurance-air-canada-westjet-manulife-1.5728580
 

mariomike

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Brihard said:
Yup, insurance companies aren’t having a good time already to begin with. They’ll gleefully reject anything they can find an excuse to. Given that the government has issued travel advisories against non-essential travel outside of Canada, that’s really all the ammunition they need.

We have a Post-65 Health Care Spending Account ( HCSA )of $3,000 to cover our MROO ( Municipal Retirees Organization of Ontario ) premium.

Membership is open OMERS retirees only.

According to MROO, we can travel outside Ontario and Canada with full coverage. Unless there is a government issued travel warning in place. If there is, you will not be covered for Covid-19 - all other conditions will be covered.

If a travel warning goes into effect while you are away, the insurance will continue to cover you - except for Covid-19.



 

lenaitch

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All  the insurance in the world might not help them if they get sick and have to go to a hospital where the patients are stacked like cordwood.
 

mariomike

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Covid, or no Covid, I would retire permanently to Arizona - if my wife would go along with it.  :)

 
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