2020-11-21 20:25:44 UTC
Many snowbirds flocking south despite Canadian government's plea to seniors to stay home
Snowbird association estimates about 30% of its members will head south this winter
In anticipation of the winter travel season, the federal government has issued an online alert to seniors, advising them to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the message may have little impact on snowbirds who are determined to escape the Canadian winter.
"I don't like winter. I hate it. I hate it with a passion," said Steve MacDonald, 77, of Oakville, Ont. He has already booked a Dec. 3 flight to Florida for himself and his wife, so they can spend the winter at their rented condo in Key Largo.
"Down there, [I'll] be swimming outside and taking in some sun, getting some vitamin D and cheap rum."
He'll be in good company. The Canadian Snowbird Association estimates that around 30 per cent of its more than 110,000 members will head to the United States Sunbelt this winter — despite soaring COVID-19 cases in the country and the Canada-U.S. land border closure to non-essential traffic.
Meanwhile, down in Florida:
Per an ordinance as of Nov. 19, 2020, in the city of Key West, the wearing of facial coverings is mandatory indoors and outdoors (anywhere outside a residence or hotel/lodging room) regardless of social distancing. This ordinance is to remain in effect for at least 60 days.
So, we're gonna know which Canadian snowbirds obeyed the ordinance and which ones didn't - by the suntans on their faces.
I would like to see any Canadians coming back into Canada housed in military barracks for 2 full weeks - sleeping on cots and eating military grade meals. No cheap rum.