Travel safety in Canada: What to expect when you visit

Travel, Safety & What to Expect

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Travel safety in Canada: What to expect when you visit

Pandemic fatigue got you down? Dreaming of travelling anywhere but the inside of your house? While we may not be on the other side of this unprecedented time (yet), one shining ray of hope is that conscientious travel is a viable option. Flights are taking off, rental fleets are tuned, and hotel beds are crisp and waiting for the arrival of mountain enthusiasts, like you. 

This winter, adventures further afield than your mailbox are not only possible, they can be safe. Here in the Great White North, travel safety in Canada is something we have taken very seriously to ensure that visitors not only feel comfortable but that they can also relax – knowing that travel, health, and safety measures like masking and vaccine requirements are consistent across Banff and Lake Louise. 

If you’re thinking of visiting the Canadian Rockies this winter, or you’re already counting down the days until a trip you have planned, here are travel safety in Canada measures you can expect when you arrive.

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From ski resorts to restaurants, safety measures like face masks and vaccines are in place to help keep visitors safe in Banff and Lake Louise. | Photo by Banff Lake Louise Tourism

Consistent rules and regulations

Saying Covid can be a confusing subject would be an understatement. We don’t need to tell you twice that oftentimes rules seem doubled-up and backwards. If you’re visiting a new place, the last thing you want to be doing is second-guessing what and where and how to be acting. 

Travelling to Alberta’s Canadian Rockies takes the guesswork out of travel. Here in Banff and Lake Louise, nearly every business follows what we call the Alberta “Restrictions Exemption Program” (or REP), which is a fancy way of saying – just show up with a proof of vaccine (or negative test result), face mask, and ID and you’ll get in. From restaurants to bars to retail shops, wear a face mask indoors and come prepared to show your proof of vaccine and a piece of government-issued photo ID – it’s that simple and that consistent all around. 

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Expect to show proof of vaccination (or a negative test result) and a piece of government-issued photo ID at almost every establishment and ski resort. | Photo at Banff Sunshine

Other travellers are vaccinated

With its famous lakes and breathtaking mountainscapes, it’s no surprise that Banff and Lake Louise is a destination frequented by visitors from around the world. These days, travelling by airplane within Canada, as well as from outside of Canada, requires travellers to prove that they are fully vaccinated. Not to mention, international travellers are also required to show a negative PCR test result before they enter the country.

This means, most of the smiling faces you will see walking down Banff Ave. or twirling past you on the ice at Lake Louise will most likely be vaccinated travellers, just like yourself. 

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The majority of people in Banff and Lake Louise are visitors meaning most are fully vaccinated. | Photo by Banff Lake Louise Tourism

Safety at the ski resorts

At all three “Big3” resorts, you can be assured that the teams are doing everything they can to ensure fun and safety are top priorities this season. Here are a few of the safety measures you can expect:

  • Proof of vaccination (or negative test) required to access the resort – Banff Sunshine and Mt. Norquay
  • Proof of vaccination (or negative test) required to enter all indoor lodge spaces – ALL resorts
  • Proof of vaccination (or negative test) required to ride enclosed gondola – Banff Sunshine and Lake Louise 
  • Face coverings required in lift lines and on chairlifts – Lake Louise 
  • Face coverings recommended in lift lines and on chairlifts – Banff Sunshine and Mt. Norquay 
  • Proof of vaccination (or negative test) required to participate in snow school programs – ALL resorts
  • Proof of vaccination (or negative test) required to ride the ski shuttle – ALL resorts 
  • Frequent sanitization of all indoor spaces and high touch areas – ALL resorts 
  • Clear safety protocol signage and plexiglass barriers – ALL resorts

At all three resorts, face masks and proof of vaccination are required to enter any indoor lodge space as well as enclosed gondolas. Plus, even though singles lines are back (hooray fast laps!) if you prefer not to ride with someone outside of your group, the lifties will seat you on your own chair – no problem. 

At Banff Sunshine not only are all guests required to show proof of vaccination (before accessing the gondola and upper village) but all staff are fully vaccinated as well. At Mt. Norquay, it’s a similar story – with proof of vaccination required to access the mountain and base area.

In addition, Alberta Health Services together with the people living and working in Banff National Park are working hard to ensure vaccination and rapid testing opportunities are readily available for all community members. More than 85.3% of all Albertans age 12 years and older, are considered fully vaccinated with two doses and, when needed, local residents and businesses are quickly tackling any community outbreaks to curb further transmission. 

Health and safety protocols at the resorts

Banff Sunshine Operations FAQs

Lake Louise Ski Resort Operational Guidelines

Mt. Norquay Operational Guidelines

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Proof of vaccination (or a negative test result) is required to enter indoor lodge space at all three resorts. | Photo at Lake Louise Ski Resort

Stay safe indoors

Whether you’re popping indoors for a warm-up at the ski hill or dining out in Banff or Lake Louise, here in Alberta it is required to wear a mask indoors. Plus, to enter almost every establishment a proof of vaccination is also required. 

Ski shuttles and gondolas also require proof of vaccinations and masks!

Fewer crowds 

Oh, and did we mention how much wide open space there is up here? Banff and Lake Louise is a big area with lots of room to roam. Here, we’ve got way fewer crowds than most hot-spot ski resorts in North America. You’ll notice it as soon as you hit the highway from Calgary to Banff and then again as you stand at the top of any lift – looking out over nothing by Banff National Park. 

If you’re looking to get away and get away from the masses, Banff and Lake Louise checks all of those boxes. 

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With more than 8000 acres of skiable terrain, there is plenty of space (and fewer crowds) at SkiBig3 resorts. | Photo by Reuben Krabbe at Lake Louise Ski Resort

No-questions-asked cancellation policy

Should you need a bit more flexibility with your travel plans this winter our no-questions-asked cancellation policy for both lift tickets and packages allows for free changes and full-refund cancellations until 3-days prior to arrival. To book your winter ski vacation or secure your multi-day lift tickets, call 1-844-754-2443 to speak with a reservation specialist or go online to access some exceptional Ski & Stay Package deals.

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