Wed. Jan 19th, 2022

MONTREAL – Canadians are guessing their travel plans as information flows about the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Katie Summers, a 34-year-old radio host in Calgary, says worries about the new tribe as well as confusion over test rules mean she and her husband are reconsidering their honeymoon trip to Hawaii next month.

She says the prospect of sunny beaches, as well as the threat of lost deposits to what would be their fourth failed attempt at international travel in two years, has deterred them from canceling the holiday so far.

But Beth Potter, executive director of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, says airlines and hotels have not seen an increase in the number of reservations in December, while some guests have already canceled holiday travel plans due to concerns about Omicron.

Complicating matters are new measures from the United States that require all foreign travelers to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within one day of departure.

ATB Capital Markets, however, says airlines’ shares have risen slightly from an Omicron-induced decline over the past two weeks after preliminary data emerged suggesting the variant may not be as severe as originally feared.

Critical questions about the fresh strain remain unanswered, including whether it causes milder or more severe symptoms and how effectively current vaccines can inoculate against it.

In response to the discovery of Omicron, Canada quickly introduced travel measures to curb the spread, which includes banning visitors who have recently traveled through 10 African countries.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on December 7, 2021.

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By Victor

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