COVID-19 leaves most snowbirds in holding pattern as winter approaches

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Fine said Texas (no quarantine requirement) and Hawaii (beginning Oct. 15 a pre-travel testing program would allow visitors to skip the mandatory 14-day quarantine if they can provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their arrival) are the fourth and fifth most popular U.S. destinations.

“Right now the (snowbirds) fall into three groups essentially,” he said. “There’s a small group who have decided that they’re going for sure this winter no matter what. There’s another group who have decided that they are not going no matter what and they are going to stay in Canada, they don’t feel that it’s worth the risk. And then there’s the largest group, which is the middle ground, which is taking a wait and see approach, to see how things unfold.”

Still other snowbirds are finding new, milder places closer to home like British Columbia.

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“We have heard there is an increase interest in travelling to some warmer destinations in British Columbia this winter — how much of an increase there’s going to be and how many snowbirds are going to head there, we don’t have those numbers at this time and I don’t know that we’ll ever get them,” said Fine.

“But it does seem, at least from speaking to people in those destinations, like there’s an increased interest in snowbirds heading there.”

If you are heading out of the country, Fine advises to know your travel insurance coverage and whether it covers COVID-19.

“We have a sister company, Snowbird Advisor Insurance, and we are looking at options to provide our members, or anyone who wants to purchase it, with COVID-19 coverage,” said Fine.

“So we expect we will be bringing on one or more options in the near future, but we’re just vetting the different options right now.”

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