November 28, 2021

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Covid travel: Dad plans family trip to Canada where son, 11, can’t leave hotel room as he isn’t fully jabbed

A frustrated father has told how his family ski holiday to Canada in February could be ruined due to restrictions his son faces because he is not fully vaccinated against Covid.

Martin Ford, 49, has booked an eight-day holiday to the Mont-Tremblant ski resort with his wife Helen, 48, and son Sam, 11, who is ineligible to receive a Covid vaccine in the UK but has recovered from the virus.

Due to Canada’s current Covid restrictions – which state that unvaccinated children must stay away from crowded areas 14 days after arriving in the country – Sam faces a holiday spent holed up in his hotel room “just staring at mountains”, which would be “tortuous” for him, Mr Ford said.

It would result in either Mr Ford or his wife taking it in turns to babysit while the other hits the slopes, he added.

The senior construction manager at Network Rail is keen for the family to go on the holiday because he can’t claim back the £4,500 he paid for the trip on insurance – and he wants to spend time with his wife and son because he works away a lot.

But if Canada’s rules don’t change for unvaccinated children, he said he will be forced to cancel the trip.

He told i: “We need to get away – I need some time away with my family. It would be a lot easier if we could vaccinate children like other countries are doing.

“There is a lot of people who may not know about these rules. They may get away and not realise and their holiday will be ruined.”

There is another hurdle to cross before the family can even get on the plane, Mr Ford said.

While the couple are double vaccinated and immune from the country’s quarantine rules, to enter Canada children who are not fully vaccinated must provide evidence of a positive Covid-19 test taken 14 to 180 days prior to arrival or have a PCR test 72 hours prior to their trip.

But there is no easy way of proving their son has recovered from Covid.

The NHS Covid Pass proves vaccination status and is available on the NHS app – but it does not show evidence that a person has recovered from Covid, which can be used instead of proof of vaccination in Canada and many other countries.

Mr Ford, of Colchester, Essex, said he faces having to pay hundreds of pounds for proof of a positive Covid test certificate from a private clinic for his son, or shell out on a costly PCR test.

“We are going to have to make a decision on whether we go nearer the time [of the holiday],” he added.

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It comes after i revealed that winter holidays for UK families are under threat because 12-15-year-olds are unable to be double jabbed against the virus and can only get single jabs.

Teenagers planning to go on ski in the alps face having to pay hundreds of pounds for frequent Covid testing as an alternative for proof of vaccination – or shelling out hundreds of pounds to get a certificate from a private company which proves they have recovered from Covid.

In Italy, France and Austria, a domestic vaccine pass is required for entry to public areas but kids aged 12-to-15 can only receive a single jab and do not count as fully vaccinated in these countries.

i has contacted the Department of Health and Social Care for comment.