What to do...

Coronavirus, Covid-19 and Travel to Sunset Country in 2020
Gerry Cariou
By Gerry Cariou

Gerry Cariou is the Executive Director of Ontario's Sunset Country.

Last Updated: September 17, 2021

What a Year it has Been!

Update: As of August 9th, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers from the US can visit Canada again. You also need a negative covid-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours. You also have to use the arrive-can app to enter your information before you cross!

As of September 2021, International travelers can also enter.


Well, a person can say this about 2020, I didn't see that coming! Needless, to say this has been a strange and so far, a really lousy year from all aspects, not only for travel but for everything. Unless you're an epidemiologist then like most people you didn't know back in December 2019 when that virus was starting how bad it was, how bad it could and would get, and how quickly it would impact our lives in North America. Fast forward 4 months and at the beginning of April 2020, there are over 300,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North America, and the numbers are still growing. 

We have now reached the point where the entire news cycle is consumed with COVID-19, As of April 2nd, 2020 over 350 million people on the continent have been told to stay at home and our medical system is barely coping in some areas over the destruction caused by COVID-19. We have received quite a few calls from people asking questions about what is or isn't going to happen this year.

The short answer to virtually every question is we just don't know. Unfortunately, we don't think anyone knows where this is going as of the date of this article's writing. We haven't reached a peak in the infection cycle so nobody knows much until we reach that point. 

fishing in Ontario Sunset Country

The best advice we can give people at this point is to stay at home, take the guidance of your local medical authorities and do all the things they have been telling you to do. The only alternative at this point is to wait it out and once things start to get better, and they will get better, then resuming travel to Sunset Country will be on a lot of people's minds.But let's focus on beating back this virus as the first order of business. As a Travel Association, we wanted to publish something about travel to the area this year even though any travel is dependent on decisions made not by us but by the federal Governments in Canada and the US. 

Regardless of when things get back to normal, here is what we know at this point in time:

  • The Canada/US border is closed in both directions until further notice. Only essential travel is permitted and tourism is deemed not essential 
  • US citizens that own tourism businesses in Canada are not allowed entry at this point in time, in addition to regular tourists
  • There is no timeline in place as to when the border may reopen and in Canada, we have been told the situation is reevaluated every two weeks

You can still plan your vacation for when we reach the time where the border reopens and tourism resumes. To help you plan, we have a free travel guide and map we can send you.

We are optimistic we'll see you soon until then, stay safe everybody!

Useful Resource Pages

Ontario Government

Health Canada

Center for Disease Control

Canada Immigration

Canada Border Services Agency

US Customs and Border Patrol

Manitoba's COVID-19 Info Page

Update: April 16, 2020: Please note the Canadian and US Governments have come to an agreement to close the border between the two countries for an additional 30 days. For more information click here


Update May 28, 2020: The US/Canada Border closure has been extended to June 21st, 2020. The Emergency Order by the Province of Ontario has been extended to June 9th, 2020. For more info from Canada click here and from Ontario here


Update, June 18, 2020: The US/Canada border closure has been extended to July 21st, 2020. The Emergency order by the Province of Ontario has been extended to June 30, 2020. Most of Northern Ontario - including all of Sunset Country - is in "Phase 2" of the re-opening process so Canadians can now visit us again. For more info on what Phase 2 entails click here.