Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Air Canada uses social media influencers to promote travel abroad, despite stay-home direction

At least two influencers have travelled to warmer climates in the past few weeks

One of Canada’s biggest airlines is promoting travel abroad even as the federal government is telling people to stay home during the second wave of the pandemic.

At least two social media influencers have partnered with Air Canada in recent weeks to promote trips to Mexico and the Caribbean.

Tiffany Lai, a Montreal-based influencer, took a trip to Curaçao in late December in partnership with Air Canada.

“I’ve partnered up with @aircanadavacations and @dreamsresort to show a safe and cautious way of travelling for 2021. Each country has different regulations, and we felt incredibly lucky and safe to be able to travel to Curaçao because of their extreme covid-19 safety and travel regulations,” Lai posted to Instagram on Dec. 28.

Lai’s instagram says she is “currently quarantining.”

An Alberta-based photographer, Jennifer Fast, posted that she was soaking in the sunshine at a Mexican resort on Dec. 21.

“What’s more relaxing than the perfect balance of mountains, ocean and sunshine? ⛰ ☀️ Mitch and I have recently landed in beautiful Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where we will be (safely) exploring for 10 days with @aircanadavacations and @iberostar! We will be documenting our entire experience on Instagram stories and posts, showing you an authentic and honest look into what it is like to travel in 2020/2021,” Fast posted to Instagram.

Both women posted about the health and safety measures being taken at the resorts and airports, including testing, masks and quarantining upon their return to Canada.

However, non-essential travel outside of Canada has been strongly discouraged since March, when the global COVID-19 pandemic began. As of Wednesday (Jan. 6) morning, 618,646 people in Canada have been infected with the virus and at least 16,233 have died as a result. Much of the country, including Alberta and Quebec, are under strict lockdowns to slow the spread of the virus.

“Now is not the time to holiday abroad,” Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne said during a Wednesday morning press conference where officials outlined new pre-flight COVID testing requirements for returning air travel passengers. Any non-essential travellers must also quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, regardless of test results.

Air Canada did not return a request for comment by deadline.

READ MORE: As U.K. travel ban lifts, new pre-flight COVID-19 test rules will come into effect in Canada


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