For Lucien Roy and Ginette Trépanier, there is no way they are staying in Quebec this winter. The couple who own a lot at the Vacation Inn Resort in West Palm Beach, Florida will be leaving in the coming weeks despite the pandemic. However, Mr. Roy and Mrs. Trépanier admit that they intend to respect the sanitary measures.

Since last March, the border between Canada and the United States has been closed. It is not possible for Canadians to drive to the United States. There is no known date for the reopening of the border. The only way to get to Uncle Sam’s country is by plane. It is by this means of transport that the couple in their seventies will see their property in the coming weeks.

Yes to Florida

Lucien Roy and Ginette Trépanier had no difficulty making the decision to go to Florida for the coming winter. Admittedly, they will not be on unknown land. Since 2005, the couple have moved away from the harshness of winter. Mr. Roy jokes that he doesn’t even own winter tires.

“We have a 45-foot fifth wheel in Florida, says Trépanier. Usually, to get to Florida, we make the trip by car. If the borders are still closed when we leave, we will take the plane. Since commercial transport is permitted, we will have our car transported by truck. We’ll pick it up in Florida. We’ve worked hard enough in our lives that it’s a privilege we’ve earned to spend our winters in Florida. Some of our friends prefer to travel, others prefer Quebec. For us, it’s Florida in winter. ”

Do not believe that it is much more expensive to have your vehicle brought to Florida by a transporter. As Mr. Roy specifies, the costs for making the usual trip by car are more or less the same as for shipping the car by truck.

“We make the trip from Les Coteaux to West Palm Beach in three days, he says. So in addition to the cost of gasoline and food, there is a charge for two nights at the hotel. So, if as planned we go by plane, it will be substantially equivalent.”

Sanitary measures

Ginette Trépanier and Lucien Roy respect all the sanitary measures in place. They plan to do the same under the hot Florida rays. “We’re careful here so we’ll do the same in Florida. In addition, our lot is large, we will have no difficulty in respecting social distancing. We will continue our life the same way we do here. Obviously we will not go to restaurants. However, we can have it delivered”, said Mrs. Trépanier before adding that she contacted the Vacation Inn Resort to find out the sanitary measures in place.

Last March, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, called on travellers and especially snowbirds to return as soon as possible. Mr. Roy and Mrs. Trépanier therefore shortened their stay. “We listened to the recommendations and came back out of prevention”, says Mrs. Trépanier. It was March 18th. Usually we come back around April 20th . For the winter to come, we have not taken any chances. I contacted our insurer to find out if we are covered for Covid-19. His answer is that we are covered unconditionally.”

The couple don’t know how many vacationers at the Vacation Inn Resort in West Palm Beach will make the same decision as them. “We are 400 owners, confirms Mrs. Trépanier. Of this number, 60% come from Quebec. I do not know how many will be present this winter. Everyone is free to choose. For our part, we are in Florida in the winter. We’re not bored. Obviously this year we won’t be going to malls or gatherings, but there are a lot of positives to consider.”

A simple internet search reveals that Mr. Roy and Mrs. Trépanier are far from being the only ones who will take to the skies in the coming weeks to get to Florida. In fact, several Quebecers are already there. According to posts on the Florida Snowbirds Facebook group, sanitary measures and social distancing are well respected.

Steve Sauvé

Steve Sauvé

Journaliste

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