Newfoundland 2020 Tourism Season: COVID-19 Edition

With the coronavirus pandemic turning summer travel plans on their head, you may be wondering the current state of Newfoundland tourism for the 2020 season.

The Newfoundland 2020 Traveler’s Guide

If you had a summer trip planned to visit Newfoundland this year, will you still be able to come?

Prior to 1949, when the province joined Canada, Newfoundland was its very own country. If that were the case today, one would guess we could close the border and forbid anybody from entering!

In fact, that’s not far the current reality, though rules have eased.

Out-of-Province Travel Restrictions

Being an island which is only accessible by boat or plane, Newfoundland’s partial isolation seems to have worked in its favour during the COVID-19 pandemic. The province has experienced a relatively low number of cases, and with most incoming travel to the province halted, residents can return to some form of normalcy.

Originally government had banned all out-of-province travelers with the exception of permanent residents and essential workers. As of July 3, the province will join an “Atlantic Bubble” where those traveling between the Atlantic provinces will not need to isolate for 14 days after arrival. Rules still forbid anybody from outside those provinces to visit Newfoundland.

Lifting Restrictions

The government of Newfoundland and Labrador has unveiled a multi-step plan for easing restrictions.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has stated that all festivals and concerts scheduled for summer 2020 will not go ahead. This includes the 2020 George Street festival originally set for August and the Iceberg Alley Performance Tent for 2020 has been officially cancelled, as well as the Royal St. John’s Regatta for the first time in 80 years. Check out our complete cancellation list.

As of June 25, 2020, the province will be under “Alert Level 2” which continues easing restrictions. This permits the opening of gyms, bars, cinemas, and other previously closed businesses, but with restrictions and reduced capacities.

Restrictions at bars include half the usual capacity and dance floors and karaoke areas must remain closed. The George Street Association has expressed concerns that the restrictions will create “devastating outcomes” for the bar industry.

Newfoundland Staycation

In light of the situation, and in an effort to keep the province’s tourism industry afloat, government is promoting vacations within the province with their Stay Home Year 2020 campaign. Interestingly, not even 24 hours after the campaign was announced, came the news that we could also freely travel with the Atlantic bubble.

Updates

We’ll continue to update this article with the latest information, as well as other articles on the site pertaining to scheduled summer events.

We’re currently on the road for a Newfoundland staycation and documenting the journey. Follow along here.

As of June 25th, we’re in ‘Level 2’ as declared by the Newfoundland government’s alert level system. See more details and the latest from them here.

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