Essential tips for essential travel

Airplane seats waiting and ready for boarding

Not everyone is ready to get back in the air, but many people still have trips they need to take. Travel is slowly increasing with essential travel leading the way. If you’re in that boat (or plane, actually) there are some things you should know before you go, i.e. essential tips for essential travel.

Most importantly, you should know that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has instituted several measures to ensure your security screening experience is as safe and secure as possible.

Wear A Face Covering

People travelling by plane from and within Canada need to bring their face covering. Face coverings need to cover the nose and mouth, be made of at least two layers of tightly-woven fabric (such as cotton or linen) and secured to the head. (Check out Public Health Agency of Canada’s guidelines, including instructions on how to make your mask.)

Use Hand Sanitizer When Out and About

At major airports, hand sanitizing units have been placed by the checkpoints to be used by the public. You can also have one bottle of hand sanitizer up to 355 mL in your carry-on – that is in addition to the 100 mL bottles that fall under the usual liquids’ restrictions. Keeping hands clean is especially important to help prevent the virus from spreading.

Screening Checkpoint at Security

Temperature screening at an airport in Canada

If you’re flying out of one of Canada’s 15 busiest airports, you’ll have your temperature checked when you arrive at the screening checkpoint. You will not be permitted to proceed through screening if your temperature, after two separate tests, is at or above 38⁰C. Note that if you exhibit symptoms of illness such as a cough or difficulty breathing, you will be required to leave the checkpoint.

While in the queue and the screening checkpoint, you must keep two metres between yourself and other passengers. Hold on to your own electronic or printed boarding pass or other documents of entitlement while they are scanned.

Travel Safely

Travel myths abound but the facts are the facts. Aviation is an essential service, ensuring people and goods get to where they need to go, and CATSA has taken every step possible to ensure this happens safely. You can go to their website for more information, or you can download their app for Android or iOS.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

Silhouette is an interesting challenge. It’s all about the light of course and capturing your image at the right moment.

Pictured below is Parliament Hill- the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, Canada’s capital (picture is included in my previous post- https://markstraveljournal.me/2012/10/18/comfortable-ottawa/) . The people walking in front are the silhouette against the back drop of the “people’s house”. I wasn’t thinking of any deeper meaning but rather just took the photo on a quick walk on a cold fall morning.

My second image is from the Docklands in London, England. Just the right light late in the afternoon last November.

Comfortable Ottawa

Ottawa is not exactly exotic but has a nice feel to it. A blend of Toronto and Montreal – many speak French (in addition to English of course) and it is crazy clean like Toronto. As the capital of Canada, there is government galore including Parliament Hill, embassies, diplomats, bureaucrats and other well meaning government employees. The outdoor cafes, the Byward Market, a selection of museums, the canal, etc. A very nice long weekend, especially in summer.

There is lots to see and do in Ottawa. The Canadian Museum of Civilization and the National Gallery of Canada are among 16 museums. There seems to be a festival every other weekend. The biggest annual party by far is for Canada Day on July 1st (as you would expect in the capital of the country). White Water Rafting is big business on the Ottawa River and a whole lot of fun. If you can brave the winter (and sometimes its not so tough), Winterlude (i.e. winter carnival) in February is the time to come, highlighted by skating on the frozen Rideau Canal. At anytime, the coolest spot in Ottawa has to be the Byward Market (located 2 blocks west of the canal and north of Rideau Street). It is in an easily walk-able area (a few square city blocks) filled with restaurants, bars, deli’s, bakeries, shops, fresh produce and flower stands etc. Something for everyone. There’s some funky pubs like the Auld Dubliner, the Blue Cactus, Pub 101 and more. Street performers on many weekends. The famous Canadian “Beaver Tail” (an over-sized flat donut with toppings) can be sampled right in the middle of Byward. But if you have a taste for fine baked goods, don’t miss Le Moulin de Provence (almost across the street). It’s the European style bakery where Barrack Obama stopped for cookies when he was in town. Their baked goods are worth the trip to Ottawa alone!

There is something just very comfortable about Ottawa. Like a pair of slippers or your favourite jeans. Hard to define but it just feels right.