Now that Canada’s travel restrictions are easing up, many people may be considering taking to the skies again and booking a vacation abroad.
While Canada’s non-essential global travel warning was officially lifted in February, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to just buy a plane ticket to the first spot on your bucket list.
That’s because right now there are multiple federal travel warnings in effect for Canadians hoping to go overseas, impacting tourist hotspots like Jamaica, the Philippines, Mexico, France, the U.K. and more.
There are several reasons a country may have a travel warning attached to it, including non-COVID-19-related situations like crime levels, rates of violent crime, civil unrest and even the region’s “terrorist threat.”
It’s important to note, though, that the notices are recommendations only and the final decision to travel remains with each individual.
That said, before you get going, it’s worth double-checking the travel advisory list to make sure you’ll be as safe as possible on your next adventure.
On February 28, the Canadian government updated its travel advice for Jamaica, urging Canuck visitors to “exercise a high degree of caution” in the country.
It says there is a “high level of violent crime” there, with some regions in particular dealing with gangs, drugs and firearms.
The notice says that reports of violence against tourists are “very low,” but still urges visitors to be vigilant at night, avoid walking alone and stay away from beaches, isolated areas and buses after dark.
A similar travel warning remains in place for the United Kingdom, where the Canadian government says a high degree of caution should be exercised due to “the threat of terrorism.”
As part of the notice, the feds say that “terrorists have carried out attacks in several European cities” and that “further attacks in Europe are likely.”
It notes that in Britain, previous terror incidents have resulted in casualties.
Canadian tourists are advised to keep aware of their surroundings in public places and be “particularly vigilant” at busy events in cities, especially during religious holidays and other public celebrations.
“Exercise a high degree of caution in Mexico due to high levels of criminal activity and kidnapping.”
That’s the Canadian government’s advice for locals hoping to visit the sunny tourist hotspot in the near future.
The travel notice says that some parts of the country continue to deal with violent crimes, “Even in popular tourist destinations.”
“Remain extremely cautious if you’re travelling in Mexico City and surrounding municipalities in the State of Mexico where crime rates have been rising in recent years,” it reads.
Find out more
In France, officials say there is an “elevated threat of terrorism” to be aware of right now.
The travel notice warns, “Over the past few years in France, several opportunistic and premeditated attacks have occurred. These have resulted in many deaths and injuries. Further attacks are likely.”
Tourists are urged to be aware of their surroundings in busy places and major cities.
If the beautiful beaches of the Philippines are on your bucket list, this information may be useful to know!
Right now, the Government of Canada warns visitors to the country to exercise a high degree of caution due to “crime, terrorism, civil unrest and kidnapping.”
In fact, it says some spots — like western and central Mindanao, the Sulu archipelago and more — are a complete no-go at the moment, advising Canadians to “avoid all travel” to those areas.
Parts of the country do have associated risks, so make sure you have a plan in place for your travels if you’re heading that way.
If the tropical climate of Costa Rica sounds like a bit of you, check the official travel advice before you get going.
According to the Canadian government, crime levels in the region are pretty high and therefore visitors should be cautious when out and about.
It says that local drug use, drug-related violent crimes, armed robberies, carjackings and home invasions are all a “concern” at the moment.
Travellers headed for Thailand should be aware of the “ongoing political tensions and sporadic demonstrations in Bangkok and elsewhere in the country.”
The feds say petty crime is “common” here too, so be careful if you’re planning a trip to this beachy hotspot.
Right now, the Government of Canada is urging locals to avoid all travel to Ukraine due to its recent invasion by Russia.
It says that “heavy fighting is ongoing” across many parts of the country, including in and around the capital city of Kyiv.
“Bombardments, explosions and missile launches have been reported, and civilians are impacted. The security conditions are deteriorating rapidly,” reads the warning.
Canadians in Ukraine have been urged to try and leave the country ASAP.
If visiting Morocco is on your to-do list this year, the feds say to exercise a high degree of caution due to the possible terrorist threat there.
They warn that attacks have targeted foreigners in the past, so all travellers should be on high alert if visiting.
The travel notice says, “In December 2018, two Scandinavian tourists were found dead in a mountainous area of southern Morocco, 10 km from Imlil, a village in the High Atlas. Moroccan authorities have described the killing as a terrorist act. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.”
Stay aware if you’ve got a trip to Vietnam planned. That’s the advice from Canadian government officials, as the country apparently is dealing with “increasing petty crime targeting foreigners.”
The travel notice says that criminals are more likely to target hotels and tourist areas, with pickpocketing occurring in shopping centres and on trains.
If the European country of Belgium is a must-visit spot for you, here’s what you should know:
Canadian tourists are urged to be careful on any trips to the region as “separate [terror] attacks causing multiple deaths and injuries have taken place.”
Further attacks in Belgium cannot be ruled out, officials say, noting that targets could include government buildings, places of worship, airports, public areas and more.
Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.