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fry

Moving during the Covid-19 epidemic

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PhilipCX
On 3/21/2020 at 3:09 PM, MaryJane said:

@archiryan123

Just an FYI, if you haven't applied for insurance yet.

OHIP is waiving the 3-month waiting period during these unprecedented times - https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2020/03/ontario-expands-coverage-for-care.html

That is great news thanks. 

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fry

@OHCANADAAA did you guys end up flying on Saturday? If so, let us know how it went.

From our side we are still waiting, reading and watching what is happening. The landscape is changing weekly so who knows what things will be like in May. The house is sold so we will need to be out by the end of April-ish. Really interesting times!

@archiryan123 your news does not sound good. It is not nice to finally land in your new country and not feel welcome. I hope that things improve once your "newness" "wears off". I think that the entire world is just scared and strangers are the most scary. 

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Nettie
On 3/21/2020 at 9:09 AM, MaryJane said:

@archiryan123

Just an FYI, if you haven't applied for insurance yet.

OHIP is waiving the 3-month waiting period during these unprecedented times - https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2020/03/ontario-expands-coverage-for-care.html

Canadian awesomeness.

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OHCANADAAA
12 hours ago, fry said:

@OHCANADAAA did you guys end up flying on Saturday? If so, let us know how it went.

From our side we are still waiting, reading and watching what is happening. The landscape is changing weekly so who knows what things will be like in May. The house is sold so we will need to be out by the end of April-ish. Really interesting times!

@archiryan123 your news does not sound good. It is not nice to finally land in your new country and not feel welcome. I hope that things improve once your "newness" "wears off". I think that the entire world is just scared and strangers are the most scary. 

No we didn't. We're currently waiting for Canada to announce when the exemptions become active then we'll try get flights ASAP.

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M_Richard

I am currently in a similar situation. Was supposed to fly 10 Apr, already resigned from my job in SA, but then after the border closure announcement on 18 March, I managed to rescind my resignation and I am continuing to work in SA.

I have a work permit that is valid for 2 years and a permanent residency application that should be completed in July. 

Now with the new announcement (that still has to be clarified early this week), temporary workers will be able to enter Canada. 

Now landing as a newcomer in Canada, I have many things to consider.

Firstly 14 days self isolation. I can't go out to go get a SIN number, open bank accounts, apply for licenses etc. And I am even unsure about getting groceries for the first two weeks, buy online for delivery? 

I planned to stay in a temporary airbnb about 6kms from my workplace. Using public transport was my original plan, but don't think that is the best idea now. Getting a car is possible, but insurance will be insane without a BC driver's license, and road tests are currently canceled. 

I am a Civil engineer and the business cycles are usually long, so the company will probably still be operating, however I must confirm this with them.

Quite a lot of uncertainty at the moment, I can just keep moving my flights and see how things look in a month or 2 or 3. Still haven't sold my apartment in SA yet, so still carrying on in SA for now. 

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Jules
On 3/20/2020 at 2:08 PM, archiryan123 said:

I guess my wife and I can weigh in here, having arrived last Sunday 15 March 2020. One should keep in mind that things have changed a lot in the last few days, and continue to change daily. When we left RSA the virus was a mounting concern with very few cases, landing in Canada here it is sheer Armageddon all-round. Toronto airport was empty, and so are the streets in our current city. People don't go outside, and turn extremely nasty when they find out we are foreign immigrants.

It's been difficult... we arrived in one of Ontario's small cities, near to Ottawa and Toronto. To us it feels a lot like Hermanus, crossed with a bit of Stellenbosch (very student-y). It also has a huge population of seniors... We spent 2 days in our first temporary apartment before we were asked to leave by the local tenants due to perceived risk. Yesterday we tried to open a bank account and were nastily forced to leave the establishment. Sadly we are unable to obtain any documentation whatsoever. Any kind of apartment rental is impossible. For the foreseeable future we don't exist... 

Of course we understand the situation here, but it's not as if we were ever sent instructions to self-quarantine. Maybe what threw us off was at the airport there were zero tests done, or instructions given etc. We would love to know if this has changed. I believe in the week that we've been here a great many things have changed.

We are extremely thankful that we were able to get here in time, but also really hope being treated like dirty immigrants (no exaggeration) will pass. We also can't be sure how much of our experience has been more small town mentality vs nationwide fear vs goodness-knows-what-else.

Not a good time to be an immigrant. If someone is coming over with work in place I would say delay and then come tentatively. If no job is in place I would advise to postpone for a few months. Above all I'm concerned for the affect this will have on Africa.

Very sorry to hear about your experience so far. This is NOT normal Canada. People are scared and freaking out which is causing some people to behave like total jerks. It’s survival mode. This shall pass, I promise. Hopefully you catch a break.  
 

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Marianka

Does anybody have advice as to airbnb's or a place where a family of 3 would be able to stay after landing for the 14 day self isolation period? We are planning to land in Vancouver middle/end of May. Are there services for ordering groceries to avoid leaving home in that period? 

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LidiaS77
On 4/2/2020 at 1:49 AM, Marianka said:

Does anybody have advice as to airbnb's or a place where a family of 3 would be able to stay after landing for the 14 day self isolation period? We are planning to land in Vancouver middle/end of May. Are there services for ordering groceries to avoid leaving home in that period? 

Yes, as far as I know most large grocery stores, such as Save-on-Foods, have delivery services. I've heard there is a wait time of about 2 weeks or so though (at least here in Victoria and maybe more in Vancouver) so it would probably be best if you order a while before you arrive, unless the wait times become shorter by May. You can also use Skip the Dishes to deliver from a variety of fast food places and restaurants. Depending on where you live you could also maybe arrange with your host to supply basic groceries before you arrive.

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JohanR
On 3/20/2020 at 2:08 PM, archiryan123 said:

I guess my wife and I can weigh in here, having arrived last Sunday 15 March 2020. One should keep in mind that things have changed a lot in the last few days, and continue to change daily. When we left RSA the virus was a mounting concern with very few cases, landing in Canada here it is sheer Armageddon all-round. Toronto airport was empty, and so are the streets in our current city. People don't go outside, and turn extremely nasty when they find out we are foreign immigrants.

It's been difficult... we arrived in one of Ontario's small cities, near to Ottawa and Toronto. To us it feels a lot like Hermanus, crossed with a bit of Stellenbosch (very student-y). It also has a huge population of seniors... We spent 2 days in our first temporary apartment before we were asked to leave by the local tenants due to perceived risk. Yesterday we tried to open a bank account and were nastily forced to leave the establishment. Sadly we are unable to obtain any documentation whatsoever. Any kind of apartment rental is impossible. For the foreseeable future we don't exist... 

Of course we understand the situation here, but it's not as if we were ever sent instructions to self-quarantine. Maybe what threw us off was at the airport there were zero tests done, or instructions given etc. We would love to know if this has changed. I believe in the week that we've been here a great many things have changed.

We are extremely thankful that we were able to get here in time, but also really hope being treated like dirty immigrants (no exaggeration) will pass. We also can't be sure how much of our experience has been more small town mentality vs nationwide fear vs goodness-knows-what-else.

Not a good time to be an immigrant. If someone is coming over with work in place I would say delay and then come tentatively. If no job is in place I would advise to postpone for a few months. Above all I'm concerned for the affect this will have on Africa.

Like Jules stated, not a typical response of Canadians, but in the current turmoil and uncertainty it does happen. I am curious as to which small city this is close to Ottawa and Toronto with a feel of Hermanus. Hang in there, it will get better.

 

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M-N
8 hours ago, JohanR said:

Like Jules stated, not a typical response of Canadians, but in the current turmoil and uncertainty it does happen. I am curious as to which small city this is close to Ottawa and Toronto with a feel of Hermanus. Hang in there, it will get better.

 

Kingston perhaps? 

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Jules

Not sure if everyone on this forum will agree with me but my advice to anyone planning to land here with PR but without a job: try to delay your permanent move as long as possible. 
COVID-19 is going to cause an economic disaster if this drags on for several months. If you still have a job in SA then stay until the mess clears up globally. Finding work in Canada as a new immigrant is hard enough under normal circumstances... it’s going to be much much harder this year. 
 

Just my opinion and not everyone will agree. But if I was in SA with a job with PR approved then I would land here just to activate the PR and go back to SA for a year to wait this out. I think the next 12-18 months is going to be economically hard. 

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Gary van der Westhuizen

@Annasofe13 mentioned this in a previous post, but I will mention it here again, we are willing and able to assist with groceries drop off for anyone in the Wellington County and surrounding area  (So Guelph, Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo) for those who need to self isolate. We can even drive a little further if you asked nicely 😉 

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JohanR
On 4/4/2020 at 12:06 AM, M-N said:

Kingston perhaps? 

Kingston does not remind me of Hermanus at all. 

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M-N
11 hours ago, JohanR said:

Kingston does not remind me of Hermanus at all. 

Lol.  Ok.

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Andrew and Tash

Hi All

We completed our landing last year and have most of our arrangements in place to move permanently in mid-June.

We booked our KLM flights via the IOM (International Organisation for Migration) to travel to Toronto via Montreal. Last week Thursday I got notification from IOM that our flights are cancelled, and since then I have been trying to get feedback from KLM regarding alternatives.

I was wondering if anyone else were in the same situation?

Thank you

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Jules
21 hours ago, Andrew and Tash said:

Hi All

We completed our landing last year and have most of our arrangements in place to move permanently in mid-June.

We booked our KLM flights via the IOM (International Organisation for Migration) to travel to Toronto via Montreal. Last week Thursday I got notification from IOM that our flights are cancelled, and since then I have been trying to get feedback from KLM regarding alternatives.

I was wondering if anyone else were in the same situation?

Thank you

Do you have jobs lined up when you arrive? If not then you should seriously reconsider landing here during this COVID-19 lockdown. 

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Andrew and Tash
2 hours ago, Jules said:

Do you have jobs lined up when you arrive? If not then you should seriously reconsider landing here during this COVID-19 lockdown. 

Hi Jules,

Yes, I'm transferring with the company for whom I work.

I could probably defer arrival on the work front, as I'm already working remotely with them. However, most other arrangements (renting our house in SA, accommodation in Toronto, sending pets 2 months after we arrive etc.) have been based on the mid-June date.

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fry
On 4/20/2020 at 6:44 AM, Andrew and Tash said:

Hi All

We completed our landing last year and have most of our arrangements in place to move permanently in mid-June.

We booked our KLM flights via the IOM (International Organisation for Migration) to travel to Toronto via Montreal. Last week Thursday I got notification from IOM that our flights are cancelled, and since then I have been trying to get feedback from KLM regarding alternatives.

I was wondering if anyone else were in the same situation?

Thank you

Hey @Andrew and Tash

Our KLM flights to Calgary on the 7th of May were also cancelled. We plan to try rebook them or work out what this process looks like later this week. 

It is interesting to hear that your flights in June were cancelled. Some of the commentary that I have seen says that things may have started to ease up by then. From our side were were thinking of re-booking for early July-ish. By that time we will also be renting in SA.

Have you heard anything about your pets travelling? We have also been told that there is an embargo on pet travel during this time, so even if you can fly there is no guarantee that your pets can come across in the next while.

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Andrew and Tash
On ‎4‎/‎21‎/‎2020 at 10:31 PM, fry said:

Hey @Andrew and Tash

Our KLM flights to Calgary on the 7th of May were also cancelled. We plan to try rebook them or work out what this process looks like later this week. 

It is interesting to hear that your flights in June were cancelled. Some of the commentary that I have seen says that things may have started to ease up by then. From our side were were thinking of re-booking for early July-ish. By that time we will also be renting in SA.

Have you heard anything about your pets travelling? We have also been told that there is an embargo on pet travel during this time, so even if you can fly there is no guarantee that your pets can come across in the next while.

Hey Fry

We're holding thumbs that that flights starting getting scheduled again after the 30th, it seems there's nothing that anyone can do before then. The same is true for pets travelling - the only update has been that Lufthansa are lifting their ban on live animals travelling in and out of Frankfurt. Hopefully the other airports will start doing the same.

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Deirdre

Still no international flights in Stage 4 after Tonights Lockdown   speech 😭

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Slippers

International flights are still a couple of months  away I think. Emirates are taking international bookings only from 1 July. 

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QB87

If these guys get enough people they might be able to organise a flight out. Just as an FYI. 

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fry

Hi all, I thought you may enjoy an update after I went radio silent. For those that are interested below is a description of our journey from Johannesburg to Vernon over the weekend. I posted it on the Canada Covid Support whatsapp group which was invaluable in getting information on the repatriation processes. For those in need please check out https://stuckinthemudza.wordpress.com/

 

Quote


JHB-Kelowna (via Toronto & Calgary) update with AirFrance and WestJet update.

We have finally arrived at our accommodation. 54hrs after we arrived at the assembly point at Lycée Jules Verne de Johannesburg on Saturday.

We traveled with a 2yr and 5yr old, 8 * 23kg suitcases, 1pram and 5 pieces of hand luggage.

We were met by our parents at the assembly point and there was enough space outside on the street for everyone to say their goodbyes. Only passengers were allowed into the school grounds. There are porters to help you move your baggage around. They check passports and tickets at this point. They have water and chocolate bars available for free. They give you a bus number (there were 11 buses) and you wait in a queue to get on the bus.

Once on the bus you wait for all buses to load (1.5 hours) before the police escort leads you to the airport. A police escort was quite surreal, everyone stared at the convoy of buses and we practically shut down the N3 for a while. The airport only lets two buses in at a time so it takes a while (30mins). We ended up sitting in the buses for at least 3.5 hours. When you bus arrives they take all luggage out and it gets checked by sniffer dogs. There are porters available to assist with baggage. They take your health screening questionnaire and temperature as you enter the building. There is not a lot of time between getting off the bus and to the plane, 2hrs max. Check in, security and immigration were easy. We we NOT asked to prove that we were allowed to fly via Paris, or if we would be allowed into Canada. Very little is open in the airport. The coffee shop is open and there is a table selling snacks. Checked luggage was weighed (we had kept a strict eye on weights due to later flights), hand luggage was laughed at.

Air France offered hot dinner (only chicken dish) and continental breakfast bag. They also offer alcohol. There was enough food and drink on the plane so no need to bring extra. No social distancing, and you had to wear a surgical mask at all times. They did have some spare if you needed it. Aircraft loading was from the back forwards and disembark was the opposite. Before exiting, you have to fill in a passenger tracing form so have a pen and the following details handy: emergency contact, final address, seating information and flight information.

At Charles de Galle we passed through security and into hall H. Both lounges were closed (only due to open on 5 Aug). Most shops opened up by 8am and there were a few food options. Our layover was 7.5 hours. This was hard with the kids who got bored, and were tired and ratty after the long flight. There are arcade games and PlayStations but our kids are too young for that. The playgrounds are closed. Face masks are required at all times. Head towards the right hand side of the terminal and there are stretchers and couches that you can relax/sleep on (if you can grab them). There is free WiFi so you can watch Netflix. Most chairs have a 2 prong plug so you can charge your devices. We had some toys with us and ended up spending the time chasing kids, eating food and passed out on a stretcher.

On boarding the Canada flight they check your temperature, Canadian documents (PR cards) and boarding passes. We were NOT asked to prove that we were allowed into Canada, but I think having PR cards helped with this. . The flight to Toronto was less full, but still no social distancing. Again surgical masks were required. They served a hot lunch with drinks on the flight. The plane was brand new. Before departing you have to fill the passenger tracing document. You also have to fill the Canadian COVID document. Here you need passport details, final address, flight details. I suggest having all these in a handy place as it takes time to fill in a form per family member.

Arriving in Toronto it is hot and humid. :) You need to complete a customs declaration document. (Goods following needs to be also be done here). You get given a pamphlet about the need to quarantine for 14 days. (I overheard a lady being told that she could walk her dogs, but must social distance and wear a mask.) I was NOT asked for my quarantine plan. At luggage pickup there are porters (ask how much they charge as we 'tipped' one of them CAD10 only to be told the service cost CAD20). 8bags, 2 flights... Worth it!

Arriving at 4pm local time, we stayed the night laying over at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Toronto Airport. I had to call the airport to send the shuttle to us (make sure that roaming is on) The hotel shuttle area is well signed and they give you a post number to meet at outside the airport. Did is say hot and humid! Most things are COVID-closed at the hotel, so you need to buy water from the reception and order in food. We managed to bath the kids before they passed out. I can suggest the Chinese place that the front desk suggested. The dim sum and fried chicken wings went down a treat. We set alarms for 3:30am and passed out at 8pm.

The hotel shuttles run at 10past and 20to the hour. Buffet breakfast is closed, and in its place you get a bag containing a fruit juice, yougurt and muffin. At the airport we made use of the assisted check in rather than fighting the baggage loading machine. (This made the process much simpler) Westjet charges extra for bags. 8 bags cost CAD361. They are stict on bag weights. Anything over 52pounds will cost extra if you cant spread out the load. Once through security Tim Hortons is open so you can buy food and coffee there. Masks or face coverings are required at all times.

When boarding the WestJet flight they check temperature, boarding pass and photo ID. WestJet applies some social distancing on their planes so you can pick your seats and get a little more space. Masks are required. They provide a biscuit and water for free and then have snacks available for purchase on the plane. If you have not eaten, bring something with. Also make sure you download the WestJet Connect app as there are no TVs on the plane, but you can stream through their app. If you don't have they app you can use your browser as well. (my app would not play movies? probably due to the Android version I am running). Calgary airport was rather busy with 'line ups' for both Tim Hortons and Seattle. The same check in process occurred with out Kelowna WestJet flight. Most people are wearing face masks, but some are not. Social distancing is less observed in the Calgary airport. The flight to Kelowna was packed with very little social distancing. WestJet hands out sanitizing wipes as you enter the plane which you need to use to cleanse your seat area.

Kelowna airport feels the same as when we were here last time. Just a lot warmer. Most people have masks on. Our pre-booked transport with Kelowna Concierge was waiting for us when we got here and help load the luggage in and out of the van. I can completely suggest paying someone to pick you up from your relevant airport. After 4 flights it was brilliant to have someone waiting for us with our name on a sign board.

We are now checked into our AirBnb at Silver Star ski resort in Vernon and trying to disengage and have 2 weeks of holiday before life starts again.

Thank you to everyone on this channel it really helped having other people's stories to listen to and not feel alone. I wish you all luck in getting here and starting your new adventures!

Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions about the above.
 

   

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Andrew and Tash
10 hours ago, fry said:

Hi all, I thought you may enjoy an update after I went radio silent. For those that are interested below is a description of our journey from Johannesburg to Vernon over the weekend. I posted it on the Canada Covid Support whatsapp group which was invaluable in getting information on the repatriation processes. For those in need please check out https://stuckinthemudza.wordpress.com/

 

   

Hello fry

Thanks very much for this post and your feedback regarding travelling during this period.

We're leaving on Sunday for Toronto and have had a lot of questions about the process and arrangements. However, with very little feedback from them thus far. Understanding what to expect and how it's all going to work will help us a lot on the day.

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