VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It seems B.C.’s snowbirds are continuing to fly out of country, despite warnings to avoid non-essential travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hawaii’s online COVID-19 stats show 1,260 people arrived from Vancouver International Airport through the month of January.

Of those travellers, 793 declared they were on vacation or travelling for pleasure, 125 were airline crew members, and 121 people were flying to the state to visit friends or family.

Hawaii’s COVID-19 portal shows more than 1,200 travellers flew from Vancouver International Airport to the state in January. (Courtesy State of Hawai’i)

With new travel mandates, it’s possible the number of travellers to Hawaii will go down.

In addition to showing a negative PCR test before boarding a flight for Canada, travellers will soon also be required to take a test upon arrival. The new requirements mean these arriving passengers will have to quarantine in a government-designated hotel for up to three days at their own expense while they await test results.

People who test negative for COVID-19 will be allowed to continue the remainder of their two-week isolation at home while those who test positive will be taken to a government-designated facility to complete it there.

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Meanwhile, starting Feb. 3, international flights will be restricted to four airports across Canada — in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary.

“Our government continues to strongly advise against non-essential travel outside Canada, and has implemented many measures to protect the health of Canadians in our transportation system,” Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said. “The expansion of the flight restrictions is based on decisive, public health rationale from the Public Health Agency of Canada to further protect Canadians from the health impacts of COVID-19.”

As part of recent changes, four major Canadian airlines — Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing, and Air Transat — have cancelled all flights to Mexico and the Caribbean. These cancellations are in effect until April 30 and come ahead of spring break, when many Canadians typically travel to those sun destinations.

There have been no cancellations for destinations in the U.S. as part of these measures.