Canada COVID travel restrictions extended

The federal COVID-19 restrictions at the border are being extended until at least June 30, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada announced on Tuesday.

The federal government will continue to require foreign tourists to provide proof of being fully vaccinated.

Unvaccinated Canadian citizens or permanent residents are also still required to show proof of a molecular COVID-19 test taken prior to entering Canada and quarantine for 14 days.

All travellers coming to Canada, regardless of citizenship, must also continue to submit their health information through the ArriveCAN app prior to entry.

The announcement comes a day after a Conservative Party motion calling on the federal government to lift all remaining COVID-19 travel restrictions was the defeated in the House of Commons.

The Canadian Airports Council has blamed massive customs delays across the country on the pandemic measures and insufficient staff, which have led to lineups so long the airports can’t physically contain them in some cases.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra pointed out that some airports in Europe have also seen similar delays, despite having fewer travel restrictions. He said the federal government is consulting with experts and other jurisdictions on when the measures at the border should be lifted.

“There’s obviously a discussion to strike the right balance, to ensure that we maintain our eye on public health but also the fluidity of our economy,” Alghabra told The Canadian Press on his way into a cabinet meeting Tuesday. “That discussion is ongoing.”

With files from The Canadian Press. 

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Expect Memorial Day ‘flightmares,’ warns travel expert

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Travel experts warn that the first summer since pandemic restrictions have begun to lift will bring a surge in passenger numbers that could lead to delays, disruptions, postponements or even cancellations of flights.

Many restrictions introduced more than two years ago have been lifted, but with the lingering presence of Covid, airline, airport and hospitality industry workers are facing increased demand for their services in the face of staffing shortages.

Rose Ackermann, Executive Editor at Family Destinations Guide said the increased number of travelers will have an impact on waiting times between check-in counters, security screenings and baggage collection.

“While it is great news that travel has fully opened up and families can finally have proper vacations, the combination of increased demand and staff shortages have the potential to cause significant delays and an overall sub-par travel experience,” Ackermann said.

The cost of tickets has increased as well. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the average price of a domestic flight in Tennessee is currently $329.30, which is higher than the national average of $327.13.

The TSA reports air passenger traffic is also expected to be especially heavy in peak periods, either equal to or greater than in previous years, for the first time since the pandemic began.

According to Family Destinations Guide, here are 4 pieces of advice to consider before traveling this season:

  • Aim for flights that depart early in the day. This way, if your flight is canceled last minute, your chances of getting rebooked on the same day are significantly higher.
  • Anticipate delays and plan accordingly. Remember to leave extra time between stops on your itinerary so that major delays only upset a limited number of your plans.
  • Review your travel insurance policy. Since the travel industry is quite unpredictable in the face of the changing pandemic landscape, this is a more practical consideration than it already might have been.
  • Exercise patience with airport and airline staff. The processes may be slower than the last time you traveled, as the industry is still attempting to recover. Remember that you’re dealing with fellow humans, not robots.

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Prisma Health’s tips for summer first-aid travel kits

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Prisma Health's tips for summer first-aid travel kits

Red Cross

The summer travel season kicks off with Memorial Day weekend, and Prisma Health encourages everyone to create travel first-aid kits before heading out since even small injuries, if left untreated, can derail a vacation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 44% of Americans do not have first-aid kits even though having a well-stocked and maintained kit is essential in being prepared for accidents. 

“We all like to think that nothing bad is going to happen to us, but injuries can happen anywhere at any time and to anybody,” said Dr. Nathaniel Mann, a Prisma Health emergency medicine physician who is also fellowship-trained in wilderness medicine. “Being adequately prepared by having all vital medical products in one accessible location may reduce the severity of an injury, save your vacation or even help save a life.”

He suggested that people create their own kits instead of buying pre-packaged ones. Augment your kit with items specific to you and your family’s needs.

Mann recommended starting with these essentials:

  • Stop-the-Bleed kit, to include compression dressings or a tourniquet you’ve been trained to use
  • Even if you don’t have severe allergies to bees or wasps, consider carrying an EpiPen. Familiarize yourself with its use ahead of time.  
  • Include something sugary like gluose tablets or even gummy candies to treat episodes of low blood sugar
  • Adhesive bandages of assorted sizes to cover minor cuts and scrapes
  • Sterile gauze pads of various sizes
  • Medical adhesive tape to attach gauze pads to skin around wounds
  • Antiseptic wipes to disinfect wounds
  • Non-latex gloves
  • Pain relievers: ibuprofen (Advil), acetaminophen (Tylenol) and aspirin
  • Antihistamines to relieve allergies or itching
  • Dramamine or an anti-nausea medicine for motion sickness
  • Consider an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection in open wounds
  • Calamine lotion/hydrocortisone cream for bug bites or poison ivy
  • A list of emergency phone numbers and allergies of family members

“The more remote you plan on going, the more prepared you should be to handle minor injuries by yourself. Remember that some of these medications can do double duty – for example, you may not be prone to motion sickness in a car, but Dramamine could mitigate vertigo or dizziness from an unexpected sinus infection,” said Mann.

Not every sickness or injury can or should be treated at home, said Mann. “Get as much training as you can, but trust your gut and know when to seek help.”

Prisma Health offers On Demand Video Visits for around-the-clock urgent care for everything from suspected strains, minor burns and cuts, dizziness, fever and minor head injuries. Learn more at

For a complete list of first-aid kit supplies recommended by the American Red Cross, visit




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Yoga on the Burren to private pools near Phuket – The Irish Times

Guest relations

As hotels aim for unique charm and personal service, and guesthouses up the ante in terms of luxurious touches, it can be hard to spot the difference. Ireland abounds with guesthouse gems that wouldn’t raise any eyebrows if they turned up in the Boutique Hotel category. Dingle’s Pax House is one such place, where John O’Farrell’s guests return again and again, raving about the terrace views, the breakfasts and pretty much everything else. With a recent top-10 ranking in the Tripadvisor Choice Awards, Pax House offers summer rates from €140 up to €280 per room, B&B;

Sidewalk shuffle

Pounding the pavements gets a whole new meaning at the Burren Yoga Retreat, where – weather permitting – you can get your cobra pose right in the epic surroundings of the area’s unique limestone pavements. And if the sun doesn’t play ball, there’s a lovely studio too. Take a weekend retreat from €510 pps, or a six-nighter from €1,110, including B&B, yoga and meditation classes, guided outings and veggie dinner each evening. With classes for absolute beginners to advanced practitioners, becoming “at one” starts here;

Cooling off in Cyprus

Dive into crystal waters, and then come up for air with a nice pool-side lounging session at the five-star Venus Beach Hotel, Paphos in Cyprus. Cassidy Travel has seven nights from €599 pps, including return flights from Dublin and hotel transfers. Departure date June 13th;

Luxe for less

As more Asian destinations reopen to tourism, the high-end Avani Hotels & Resorts collection has a range of special offers across six of its destinations. From flexi stays to resort credits and free nights, we like the look of the Avani+ Khao Lak, with private pool villas looking out over pristine beaches. Get 20 per cent off dining and spa treatments, and complimentary hotel transfers from Phuket airport – just 60 minutes away. You’ll also get 35 per cent off for stays over seven nights, bringing your B&B rate down to a starting point of €65 a night. Check out Book your flight to Phuket with Etihad before May 31st, and get fares from €695;

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Will airport chaos continue into the summer? Top tips from industry insiders

We’re all hungry for a holiday. With entry rules coming to an end in many countries and anxieties around travelling easing, a lot of people are hoping to get away this summer.

But the excitement of going abroad has been marred by airport chaos, cancelled flights and hours-long queues. Though travel restrictions may be easing, the recent problems at airports are leaving many uncertain if they should book at all.

So with airlines saying it is very difficult to predict what will happen in the next 12 months, we went to Routes aviation conference to find out their thoughts on travel in the next year.

Will airport chaos continue this summer?

The bad news is that the chaos seen in airports across Europe in recent months looks like it is set to continue.

Airlines are working hard to reshuffle their teams to have enough staff on-hand but as passenger numbers increase over the summer, the problem may get worse. And they say it is mainly to do with staff shortages at the airports where they operate.

Managing director of Airlines For Europe Thomas Raynaert says there is no short term solution. People left the industry during the pandemic for other sectors with better pay, more satisfying work and better conditions. There’s little chance that they will come back.

Because it takes time to train staff in roles like security and baggage handling that are currently lacking people, the problem won’t be fixed quickly.

Rafael Schvartzman, the International Air Transport Association’s regional vice president for Europe, said the situation must be addressed urgently “to avoid frustrating customers.”

He added that it was “unprecedented” to see an airport asking airlines to cancel bookings and reservations into the future – as happened at some airports during the chaos earlier this year.

Why is there so much disruption at Europe’s airports?

Passenger numbers in March were up to 75 per cent of what they were pre-pandemic, IATA says, showing the aviation industry is recovering. Schvartzman explained that this could mean a return to 2019 numbers as early as 2023.

“This is a sign of what is to come this summer,” he said, with projections for a very strong season. But it doesn’t seem like some airports are ready for this increase in traffic.

Many industry experts pointed to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam as an example of this under-preparedness. The airport authority here has warned that it will be very busy there every day up to and including summer due to staff shortages.

Staff are threatening strikes due to the working conditions, queues have led to outbreaks of violence and Dutch flag carrier KLM has had to temporarily suspend ticket sales due to the chaos.

“People have waited two, sometimes three years for a holiday and that should not be ruined by a lack of preparedness,” Schvartzman added.

Why is airport chaos a big problem for tour operators?

For those who have booked their flights directly with airlines, delays and cancellations are often fixed by taking another flight. But for people booking packages with tour operators, the situation can be a bit more tricky.

Rex Nikkels, airport procurement specialist for TUI, says that because hotels, transfers and other parts of the trip are booked together, it makes it hard to reschedule. It means that tour operators like them – and the people that book through them – have been some of the hardest hit by chaos at airports.

“We also had to get rid of people,” he says, explaining that they lost workers during the pandemic just like airports. “We are also short of staff for now, but we can manage.”

Nikkels says it means tour companies have taken a hit to their reputation because people are quick to blame them when all of the moving parts of a package holiday can’t be changed.

“This summer, we will face the same problems,” he adds.

Should you plan to arrive early when you fly?

It’s easy to think that arriving super early for your flight is the solution when queues are ridiculously long.

But according to Nikkels, arriving too early can cause as many problems as arriving too late. People shouldn’t show up more than three hours before their flight as those turning up five hours or more before departure are simply adding to the queues, he says.

Most airlines are advising passengers not to arrive before the earliest time their check-in allows. It’s also worth making sure your passports are still valid – especially if you are travelling from the UK where post-Brexit rules are adding to the confusion and there have been delays on renewals.

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Memorial Day weekend travel is expected to increase this year

For many people memorial day weekend marks the unofficial start to summer. AAA predicts that more than 39.2 million people will travel this holiday weekend.

Whether it’s by car, airplane, or by even by train travel numbers are expected to increase 8.3% over last year.

According to Triple-A, three million people are expected to take to the skies this holiday. San Luis Obispo Airport officials say they are seeing an uptick in traffic and are approaching pre-COVID passenger numbers.

“We have 14 flights coming in a day and 14 flights going out. Planes are almost full if not at capacity,” said SLO County Airport Deputy Director, Courtney Pene, “people need to remember to be patient and be kind because everyone wants to go somewhere fun.”

Others chose to hit the road despite record-breaking gas prices.

“We pre-planned for it you know, but you only get to go out once so let’s just take a road trip,” said Lancaster resident Keith Blackwell.

Triple-A predicts that a total of 34.9 million people will travel by car this Memorial Day.

“We all budget and everything, but these gas prices are killing. I think our dad paid 140 just coming this way and he does come in a truck so,” said Christine Sanmiguel from Visalia California.

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How to avoid constipation and bloating while travelling; expert offers tips | Health

With travel restrictions easing and schools closing for summer vacation, it’s time to plan that much-deserved holiday with your family. While exploring new places and sighseeing is fun, bloating or constipation while travelling could spoil all the fun and can be extremely uncomfortable. There are many reasons why travelling can take a toll on your digestive system. From longer hours of sitting, change in your normal routine, timing of your meals, not drinking enough water to changes in the types of food you eat can all lead to digestive troubles. (Also read: Travel tips to stay safe with testing for a stress-free summer holiday)

If you too feel bloated, constipated or face any kind of digestive discomfort during travelling, then you must remember some important tips. Sipping water from time to time, eating light and doing some breathing exercises can help you deal with these issues.

“Often I see people complain of constipation during travelling due to lack of enough movement, change in food-water-sleep timings and place,” says Ayurveda expert Dr Dixa Bhavsar in her recent Instagram post.

Dr Bhavsar also gives tips for relief in constipation and bloating during travelling.

1. Stay hydrated

You don’t have to drink plenty of water, just have enough. Make sure you drink at least 5 glasses of water if you’re travelling in a cold place and 7-8 glasses if you are in a hot place.

2. Keep moving

Practice Sukshma vyayama or Yoga and pranayamas every morning for at least 30 minutes will help. If possible, walk for 5000 steps per day.

3. Sip on warm water or green tea

Sipping on a glass of warm water either first thing in the morning or/and bedtime helps pass bowels easily daily. Begin your morning with green tea instead of bread or anything deep fried.

4. Choose healthier food options

Have laxative fruits like banana, papaya and local fruits available at the place. Have light breakfast. Make sure you do not eat maida (white flour) for breakfast. Have moderate or heavy food for lunch (roti/parantha, curry, salad). Have buttermilk with lunch if it is available. Have super light and early dinner. Rice based food or different soups are best for dinners.

5. Carry digestive pills

Pudina Vati, Amla Candy, Hajmola and Hing Vati are the best ayurvedic digestives. Suck on it whenever you feel bloated or heavy.

6. Carry cow ghee

Take 1 tsp of ghee with warm water in morning or at night. It works wonderfully.

7. Ayurvedic herbs

Inspite of following all of the above, if you still feel constipated or bloated, then carry triphala churna or tablet with you for mild constipation and haritaki/harde tab or churna for severe constipation.

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