You are currently viewing How Canadians can travel to the United States: ultimate guide

Our southern neighbor is statistically the most popular destination for Canadians (by far), pandemic or not. And many are asking us many questions about how Canadians can travel to the United States. So we’ll help you out—especially since it’s honestly pretty simple now. Very simple… for most Canadians.

As part of our mission to help you travel more for less, here is a complete guide on how to travel to the United States specifically. It applies to all nationalities in fact, the USA rules are the same for Canadians or for Brits for example.

COVID-19 travel rules are sometimes complicated… but NOT in the United States. They are extremely simple in the USA… and they really don’t change that often either compared to everywhere else.

(By the way, Flytrippers always spots cheap flight deals to the USA on its main page, and there are currently 2 very good Aeroplan welcome bonuses that each give you 5 roundtrip reward flights to the USA — the American Express Cobalt Card, one of the highest currently available in Canada and it’s always the best card overall, or the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card with a record-high new offer since January!)

So let’s get to the point and look specifically at how Canadians can travel to the United States (you can use this table of contents to go to the sections you want to read, as in all of our guides).


Overview of how to travel to the United States

I can personally confirm that it’s very simple to travel to the USA as a Canadian: since April 2021, I have gone there 15 times myself, including this year.

First, here is the summary before I give you the details.

See the full-size infographic or share on Facebook


And here is the infographic about their entry rules specifically.

See the full-size infographic


Basically, the United States has a vaccination requirement in place for foreigners only and for adults only. And it’s not enforced very strictly at the land border.

And there’s an absurd exception: if you enter by ferry from the Dominican Republic or the Bahamas

Obviously, the requirement should’ve changed a long time ago:

  • President Biden declared that the pandemic was over in September 2022 (a true “conspiracy theorist”)
  • The federal public health agency, the CDC, has stated what “conspiracy theorists” have been saying for a long time: having recommendations based on vaccination status makes no sense

But in keeping with the great logic of “The Science™” since the beginning, the USA still has pandemic rules based on vaccination status.

The requirement has been extended until April 10, 2023 theoretically. But that doesn’t guarantee anything, as every previous time, the rule has been extended past its theoretical expiry date. Or they could also lift it before.

The last time, they announced the January 10th extension on January 3rd. So maybe we can expect news around April 3rd.

Biden also announced that the USA’s 2 pandemic-related states of emergency will end May 11, 2023. This has nothing to do with the entry requirement, but likely means the vaccination requirement will end then too. On March 29th, the U.S. Senate voted to end the national state of emergency though, maybe this will speed up the timeline. To be continued.

Sign up for our free newsletter to be the first to know what is announced, whether it’s the extension or the cancelation of the absurd rule.

In the meantime, here are all the elements I will detail for you below:

  • The definition of “vaccinated” in the USA and in Canada (and proof required)
  • The entry rules based on your vaccination status
  • The special rules for children
  • The fact that sterile international transits do not exist in the USA
  • The absence of requirements for domestic flights in the USA (just like in almost all countries)
  • The fact US territories may have additional rules
  • The potential end date for the remaining requirements
  • How to get COVID-19 tests for free in the USA (for unvaccinated Canadians)


Definition of “vaccinated” for travel to the USA

The definition of “vaccinated” is the same in the USA as it was in Canada when Canada still had COVID-19 rules (which is obviously not necessarily the case for every other country):

  • 2 doses of the WHO-approved vaccines (or 1 dose of Johnson & Johnson)
  • Received at least 14 full days prior to entry

No booster dose is required and there’s no maximum time limit for your doses’ validity.


Proof of vaccination for travel to the USA

The proof required is not exactly the same in the USA as it was for Canada though, as they require the proof of vaccination to be in English (while Canada also accepted French or a certified translation).

Your “Canadian” vaccine passport for travel works fine. In practice, they usually accept any proof (like your provincial vaccine passport). If they even check…

But it’s so simple and easy to get the right one specifically designed for travel with the name of an actual country on it, so we can only recommend just taking 5 minutes to get the right one.


Rules to travel to the USA based on vaccination status

As a reminder, if you haven’t read how to travel during the pandemic, there are always the same 2 simple sets of rules for any trip and any destination:

  • To enter the countries where you are going to
  • To enter Canada for your return

There are no other pandemic rules, it’s really not that complicated.

We’ll give you the details of those rules for trips to the United States based on your vaccination status.


Vaccinated adult travelers: Rules to travel to the USA

Here is how vaccinated Canadians can currently travel to the USA based on those 2 sets of rules you always have to look at.


Set of rules #1

  • Rules to enter the USA (by air or by land)
    • You do not need anything at all to enter the USA, just your proof of vaccination


Set of rules #2

  • Rules to enter Canada (by land, air, water, etc.)
    • You do not need anything at all to enter Canada


Basically, it’s very simple if you’re vaccinated: Enter the USA by land or by air with no requirement (you can then fly anywhere in the country test-free of course).

Then there is nothing left to enter Canada.


We recommend joining savvy travelers like me and becoming a NEXUS member, it makes everything infinitely faster: you’ll avoid almost all wait lines for travel in Canada and the USA. Another pro tip that’s so simple but that most people, unfortunately, don’t even know exists.


Unvaccinated adult travelers: Rules to travel to the USA

It’s simple: Unvaccinated Canadians theoretically cannot enter the United States at all since November 8, 2021 (adults at least; minors are entirely exempt, see next section).


Entering the USA by land while unvaccinated

Since many of you keep asking: yes, thousands of unvaccinated Canadians have entered the USA by land for over a year.

That’s because most customs agents don’t even ask about your vaccination status. And if they do ask, they only ask if you are vaccinated without asking for proof. They certainly don’t ask often, based on my own experience and the many many testimonials we’ve received.

If you happened to go to the USA by land and they didn’t ask anything or if they did ask and you lied and they didn’t ask for proof, you would not need a test, as nobody needs a test by land. You could then fly anywhere in the country test-free of course.

You would not need anything to enter Canada upon your return.

So, in short, there are 180+ countries where unvaccinated Canadians can travel but the USA is not one of them, at least based on their official rules.

Unless you enter by ferry from the Dominican Republic or the Bahamas. That’s allowed. Because “The Science™”!


Entering the USA by air while unvaccinated

As you probably know, Canada lifted the mandatory vaccination requirement to fly from a Canadian airport, a requirement no other country in the world ever had.

But the USA requires vaccination by air. And the airlines do check, unlike the land border agents.

Although on my trip during the Christmas holidays, my girlfriend was never asked for her proof of vaccination (and it was her 1st entry into the USA by air since the vaccination requirement was implemented; so it’s not like they had it saved from a previous trip or something). I haven’t been asked either in January 2023, same for Flytrippers’ other cofounder and many other testimonials we received. But that’s probably still more of an exception than anything else, maybe airlines just do random checks now.

Those who want to go somewhere in the USA by plane usually prefer entering by land and hoping the customs agent doesn’t ask about their vaccination (or lying and hoping they don’t ask for proof) and then flying anywhere in the country from a USA airport near the border.


Children: Rules to travel to the USA

Yes, there is one exemption to enter the USA without being vaccinated: Minors (under 18).

To explain the travel rules for children, I’ll come back to the 2 simple sets of rules for all trips.


Set of rules #1

  • Rules to enter the USA
    • All minors (under 18) are exempt from the vaccination requirement
    • Nobody needs a test so kids don’t either

Set of rules #2

  • Rules to enter Canada
    • All rules have been lifted for all travelers


Rules for transits in the United States

The rules are exactly the same if you are just connecting in a US airport on your way to one of the many countries open to Canadian travelers.

The United States is one of the few countries in the world where sterile international transits simply do not exist. In other words, you always need to follow all the same entry rules even if you just have a layover in the USA (which is far from being the case for connections in other countries).

You can read the detailed article about the transits in the United States during COVID-19.


Rules for domestic flights in the United States

There are absolutely no requirements for domestic flights in the United States or any flights departing from a US airport per se (it’s been this way since the beginning of the pandemic).

This is the case for almost every country in the world too, by the way: tests are almost always only required as part of a country’s ENTRY requirements.

Americans would never tolerate any testing or vaccination requirements there (let’s call that cultural differences…) so that’s not going to change.

Their thirst for freedom means they were even among the first to get the mask requirement eliminated in mid-April (then in May, many other countries followed the science and have done the same, including most European countries).

So to be very clear, since many ask us if a test is required to fly from Buffalo to Miami:

  • Do you need a test to enter the USA? No!
  • Do you need a test to fly from a US airport? No!

They often have lower airfares too in airports on the other side of the border. Why? Taxes are much lower there, there’s more airline competition, and there are more ultra low-cost carriers specifically. You can read our post about flying out of US airports.


Special travel rules for Hawaii and the territories

Hawaii is a destination that should be avoided at this time if you care even slightly about traveling for less. It’s always expensive, but now it is even more.

If not, for a long time, Hawaii was the only one of the 50 states with its own entry rules that were stricter than in the rest of the US, but now that is over (even their special Hawaii Safe Travels form).

The above US entry rules obviously always apply. Hawaii’s special rules, when they were in effect, were in addition to the US rules.

US territories can also have their own additional rules (for example, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands). So double-check that.


Potential end date for the remaining requirements

Since January 2022, World Health Organization experts have been recommending that ALL restrictions be eliminated for ALL travelers. That’s why 120+ countries around the world have followed the experts’ advice and ended 100% of the requirements.

But even though the US has been among the first to lift its requirement for masks on planes (April 18th 2022) and then also eliminated its test requirement (June 12th 2022), there is no pressure from within to remove the vaccination requirement.

Because obviously, Americans are exempt from the last rule in place (just like Canadians were always exempt from Canada’s vaccination entry requirement when it existed; but many people always mix all the different rules together), unlike the USA’s mask and test requirements: those did apply to Americans.

As Canadian politicians did, in the USA too, the vaccination requirement will be lifted as soon as it becomes more politically rewarding for the government to eliminate it than to keep it, not a second before. It’s as simple as that.

In theory, the rule now expires on April 10, but let’s hope it’s removed before (or at least it’s not renewed this time). To be continued.


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It’s really quite simple to understand the rules that determine how Canadians can travel to the United States. You just need to know how to read — and take the time to do it.

What do you want to know about traveling to the United States? Tell us in the comments below.


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Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. He shares his experiences to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveler, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to travel rewards points... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 64/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

This Post Has 151 Comments

  1. Liste

    There is another, legal method to enter the US for unvaccinated adults. It is expensive on time and money, but I have done it myself and know others who have as well.

    1. Fly to the Bahams without any layovers in the USA (example: Toronto -> Nassau)
    2. Fly from Nassau to Grand Bahamas
    3. Take the Baleària Caribbean from Grand Bahamas to Florida

    The reason this is legal is because there are currently 3 laws preventing unvaccinated non-citizens from entering the US.

    1. No flights for unvaccinated into the US
    2. No crossing by land or sea from Canada
    3. No crossing by land or sea from Mexico

    And of course, it is also very understandable once you know the Science™ behind it.

    1. The 1st element of nature is Wind/Air – you must travel by air
    2. The 2nd element is Water – take the Ferry from the Bahamas to Florida
    3. The 3rd element is Earth – you must enter the US from land non-contiguous to the US (contiguous and contageous are basically synonyms)
    4. The 4th element is Fire – CDC scientists could think of no better way to burn money than by taking 5 flights, a couple taxies, rent a few hotel rooms and a car, and paying for a boat ride to get somewhere you could have gotten by hoping in your car and driving 30 minutes.
    5. It never harms to get a fairy involved. This is science after all, right?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Interesting, I never even noticed that it didn’t apply to all borders, despite looking at this closely for years now haha. Well, if this doesn’t convince those who suffer from Covidanxiety (and blindly believe the government) that The Science™ is absurd, I really don’t know what will.
      Must be vaccinated to enter from Canada and Mexico. But not from The Bahamas. Make it make sense…

    2. Andrew D'Amours

      Thanks for the share, will definitely write a post about this, so funny.

    3. Michel

      I am only going to say the American surely know the science better then others, Hahahahaha!!

    4. Andrew D'Amours

      By the way, the very public issue with Novak Djokovic not being able to compete in competitions in the USA could’ve been avoided if he had known your trick. He certainly can afford flying to the Bahamas and then crossing by boat. I must say I’m really flabbergasted by all this haha.

      1. Andrew D'Amours

        Oh well, I reached out to ferry companies to try and confirm. Will let you know 🙂

    5. Craig

      I am currently dealing with a nightmare situation that has an immigration wrinkle in the equation… My wife (she is a Brazilian citizen, i am American. She is awaiting approval of a green card and has been granted advanced parole which allows non-US citizens in her situation to leave and re-enter the United States) and I have a vacation planned to Costa Rica in May. The presidential proclamation requiring proof of vaccination for foreigners and the CDC website very clearly states that those granted parole (as well as other buckets such as those seeking asylum) are exempt from vaccination requirements. United Airlines is saying that she is required to have proof of vaccination, and it seems to be an issue with the travel app which requires those with a Brazilian passport to enter their proof of vaccination to allow them the ability to check in for international flights going to the United States. After arguing with a United supervisor on the phone for hours today they said they would need to check with their supervisor and they would call me back tomorrow. I have never been this frustrated and it’s insane that their app requirements contradict the CDC requirements. The app even has a section which states that certain people are exempt from the requirement, but it gives no options to select one of those exemptions as applicable to you. We will see what they say tomorrow….

      1. Andrew D'Amours

        Yes, the country’s rules are one thing, but the airline’s interpretation of the country’s rules are actually what matters, because they are the ones that decide whether you board or not. When traveling in 2020 and 2021 particularly, I can’t even count how many times airline employees were wrong, because they often are on everything. So you have to have proof from an official source and make sure to ask for supervisors… and be prepared and ready to accept that it might not, sadly.

  2. Raven

    We are looking to book a flight from Toronto to Phuket but there is a layover in Philadelphia. Is the original vaccine certificate acceptable or do we need a qr code?

  3. Bev

    HI We successfully crossed the border in to the USA without being asked about vaccination status. WE are not vaccinated and when we tried a second time we were denied. Will our passport now be flagged so we should not try again ?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, there’s no definitive answer to that.
      Many testimonials we got were from people who were denied in the past and just tried again and got in, so that would mean they don’t necessarily flag a previous attempt, but it’s not official data at all, unfortunately. But we never got any testimonials about anyone having been flagged from a previous attempt, for what that’s worth.

      Back when the land border was open for essential and business travel only, I tried entering by land since I wanted to try out whether a trip for a travel website could be considered business. I got denied entry, and the customs agent specifically said that being denied entry had absolutely no impact on future visits. That said, I didn’t lie to them, which some travelers do to try to get in without being vaccinated. That situation might be different, but it doesn’t seem like it has any impact based on those testimonials.

  4. Jolee Taylor

    Hi Andrew
    I want to take my 13 year old grandson from Canada to Phoenix for spring break. All I see is it is ok for him to go unvaccinated is this correct? Is there anything we need to do before we go. The USA rules are all over the place.
    Thank you
    Jolee Taylor

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Well, to be fair, their rules are stupid, but they’re not all over the place. Officially they’re simple: you need to be vaccinated if you are 18+, if not you do not need to be vaccinated.
      At least it’s simple to make up for the fact it makes no sense to still have rules 😛

  5. HW

    looks like the vaccine mandate for air travel has been extended to april 10 2023 (TSA emergency directive 1546-21-02B) as of a couple days ago. that being said, the directive explicitly says it only applies to air travel. any chance it could be lifted for land/sea borders? as illogical as that would be. I am vaccinated but my unvaccinated partner and I have been waiting to elope in the US!

  6. Zane

    Hey Andrew,

    Thank you for your time and effort on this. I’ve been denied access to the U.S via land through canada on multiple occasions only to be ridiculed by certain customs agents as some sort of criminal. I’m looking to fly private from a smaller airport in toronto area to Buffalo; have you found out if the requirement is exempt from private charters crossing the border ? I can’t seem to find any credible reliable source online on this circumstance, it would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, I’ve never heard of any exemptions unfortunately. There could be, I just have never seen any info about that.

  7. Jay

    Hello. My boyfriend is unvaccinated but not a Canadian or an American citizen. Do you think that would make a difference should we try to drive to the US from Canada? For example, when they ask for passports? He has a European passport and we’ve been searching for ways to get him to enter the US for 2 years now and having him fly to Canada and cross the border by land is the most hope we’ve had. Is the border control more easy going in a certain station, Detroit opposed to New York? Anything helps. Thank you.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, the US rules are the same for all foreigners regardless of nationality, so I don’t see that issue really changing anything. That said, it’s likely that all of the many testimonials we got from people crossing the US border by land are Canadians.
      I haven’t had enough data to really know that one particular border crossing is better than another though :S

      1. Julie

        Maybe try crossing with a Vax exemption. You can obtain one by being a participant in the following control group from the UK. And for $30 they will actually print and mail you a plastic card with your name and picture, verifying your participation in the study.

  8. Merisa

    Im vaccinated but my husband isnt. We were able to cross into the US Queenston/Lewiston NY land boarder last week and the customs officer didnt ask if we were vaccinated and just asked how long we were gong into the US for. We told him just for the day as it was just a day trip we were doing. That was that and we got through. But now we are thinking of going to Florida for a week. Crossing the land boarder again and flying from Buffalo airport but my husband is worried because he said it might not be so easy next time and that the officer might ask us if we are vaxxed and if he tells them he’s not then we wont be able to cross and our flight, hotel and trip will be ruined. Im guessing this can happen? Since technically un vaccinated Canadians arent allowed in the US? I feel like I would take the risk and try because we just got through with no issues and would they actually ruin someones vacation? Has anyone you know thats unvaccinated actually been turned away at a land boarder? If they ask if your vaccinated do they also ask to see vaccination papers? Or do they just take your word for it? Great website by the way! Lots of very helpful information!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Yes it can happen, you never know. It seems to be rare, but some people definitely are asked. Those who say they aren’t vaccinated are obviously denied entry, and those who lie and say they are usually aren’t asked for proof, but some are.
      That said, most US airlines charge a lot less for the fare class that comes with free changes, and almost every single hotel offers free cancelation up until 1 or 2 days before, so you could simply book a hotel starting 1 or 2 days after the planned border crossing so that you can cancel and it would be risk-free 🙂

      1. Casey D’Amours

        Hey Andrew!
        I’m going to attempt to fly into the USA, we are both unvaccinated. Our flights are Toronto-Edmonton then Edmonton-Phoenix. We are thinking of trying it or just cancelling and try by land. Which one would you do? I’ve heard of people go through both ways with no issue.

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        I would have to say that personally I would not try either to not get caught not following the rules, because of our “public” role as a reference for travelers.
        However, objectively, in terms of data, based on the many testimonials, it seems more likely to work by land than by air. That said, recently there seems to also have been a change in enforcement by air, I’ll have a post about that soon. But it’s riskier to try by air, if they ask for proof then you have to cancel your flight and with most airlines, that means paying a cancelation fee. I’ll cover that in the same new post soon too.

  9. Laura

    Hi, we are travelling as a group across a land border with one unvaccinated traveller- my husband. When and if he gets across without issue, he can board our domestic flight (BUF- MCO) without issue? Southwest web info seemed unclear, but maybe just me. It refers to travelling by plane TO USA as a non USA citizen, (stating proof of vax to board a plane inbound to the states) not necessarily specific to domestic flights for unvaxxed Canadians once within the states. Basically, if he gets over the border in the car, he’s good to go for the flight? Sorry if this is redundant. It’s a lot if money to chance.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, here’s the section about domestic flights. In short, no country has ever had rules for domestic flights, only extremist Canada had that.
      That said, there’s still an element of risk to booking a flight: the land border agent might ask for proof, even though it’s unlikely. That said, many US airlines offer free changes on tickets, unlike in Canada (well, at a lower price than Canadian airlines ask for flexible fare classes I mean).

      1. Laura

        Thanks for clarifying. I’m going to wait and see if Biden changes things over the holiday season ( eyeroll) Southwest issues a credit good for a year, and Disney only refunds before 30 days out. It’s a small fortune to risk losing right now. I’m going to opt him out if our plans. We DID get across with him for 4th if July family visit. No one asked us anything both ways. So arbitrary.

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        It’s a lot of money for sure. Hopefully the US follows the science soon enough :S

    2. Alice

      Hello, Im curious was your husband allowed in the states unvaccinated? Im curious and just wonder 🙂

  10. Val

    My husband and I are Canadian and unvaccinated. If we drive into the usa (because apparently the customs officers routinely do not ask for vaccine proof) then fly from Bellingham to Phoenix will we be asked for proof of vaccine because we are Canadian travellers?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, this section of the post answers that question, but in short, no other country apart from Canada has ever had requirements for domestic flights, ever. It’s not a thing, and the US doesn’t have special rules for foreigners on domestic flights 🙂
      Although in case you are denied entry by land (which is obviously a possibility), maybe make sure your flight and lodging bookings have some form of flexibility to be safe.

  11. Tasha

    Hello – my 14 year old is travelling to the USA from Canada and he is unvaccinated. He will be in the states for 5 days. Does he have to isolate or take a covid test before returning to Canada?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, Canada has removed all rules and requirements for all travelers 🙂 So nothing required at all to enter here.

      1. Mike

        But that is not the question. You didn’t answer correctly

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        The question is whether there are rules to enter Canada. I answered that Canada has removed all of its entry rules. How can I answer more clearly?
        Canada no longer requires anything from anyone. So nobody needs to do anything to enter Canada 🙂

  12. Sheri

    So to be clear my unvaccinated 13 year old can travel by plane to Florida from Toronto and return back to Canada. does she require a negative test to return home or can we just download the arrivecan app and do a test on day 1 and 8 ? My husband who is unvaccinated can travel by land to the buffalo airport and fly out of buffalo to Florida ? All so confusing

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, the section for minors has bullet points to summarize it for clarity (

      No test to enter USA, tests to enter Canada, and 14-day quarantine in Canada.

      For unvaccinated adults, technically entering the USA is *not* allowed, it’s just not often checked by land. The section explains it:

      But if he does manage to enter, like every country in the world there are no requirements for domestic flights. It used to be confusing because of Canada’s rule, now it isn’t: the ONLY thing to look at is the entry rules. No other rules exist.

      1. Jake

        Can I fly from Canada to USA on a private airplane if I get a negative covid test, if I’m unvaccinated?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        I’m not sure if rules are different by private plane, because in theory you can’t enter the US without being vaccinated, but this is only enforced by the airline usually, not the customs agents. But maybe it’s different and they do enforce it with private planes knowing there is no airline to check beforehand. I’ll try to find out.

      3. Amber

        Hello! We’re going from Toronto to Orlando in August. All adults in our group are vaccinated but my 3 year old is not. We’re flying air Canada, and everything I’ve seen so far says that kids are exempt but only if you sign an attestation that they will get a COVID test 3-5 days after landing and self isolate for 5 days regardless of results. Is this true?? Link below for source.

      4. Andrew D'Amours

        First of all, August is so far away it’s probably pointless. Everything will probably be removed. But even then, with the current rules nobody really cares if minors get a test, nobody will ask or check, so most people simply ignore it completely.

    2. Olesya Kaba

      We just came back from Dominican Republic. My 16 y.o. unvaccinated son had to do antigen test 24 hours before returning to Canada, day 1 and day 8 testing in Canada and quarantine 14 days on top of it. Your husband can actually fly with you there and back and do the rest like your son testing and quarantine

      1. Andrew D'Amours

        Yes well, the Dominican Republic is a different country so obviously, their rules are different than the US rules.
        Also, just for clarity, Canada’s pre-entry test requirement for unvaccinated Canadians has no “24 hours” limit: it’s the day of the flight or the day before (no hour-based time limit). And a molecular test within 72 hours of departure is still accepted too as an alternative.
        Here is the post about how to travel during the pandemic:

  13. Aaron

    Am I able to fly from a US city back to into Vancouver if i am unvaccinated?

  14. Aaron

    Hi, so am i able to fly from Vancouver into the USA unvaccinated since the changes have been made about the mandates recently? or is it that I can only cross by land? And would i need any tests?

      1. Aaron

        So just confirming after reading your response, once i am in the USA I am able to fly domestic within the USA unvaccinated. Is that right?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Yes, almost no country on Earth has ever had vaccine requirements for domestic flights (apart from Canada until recently and maybe a few rare countries) and the USA certainly have never had anything like that. Americans just wouldn’t tolerate such restrictions on the freedom of movement, let’s call it cultural differences ;P

  15. Kayla

    Hi there, I’m a non vaccinated Canadian who wants to go across the border. According to what you’ve written I can:

    – go across the border
    – need a rapid test or pre-entry test before coming back into Canada
    – fill out the arrive can app

    BUT I have to quarantine even though my pre-entry test is negative? I don’t understand the logic of the quarantine if you’re negative ?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      As I wrote, you “can” go across the border, but only if you lie to the border agents and/or if they don’t ask for proof of vaccination. They do require it officially even if they don’t seem to ask for proof very often at the land border.
      Then yes you need a pre-entry test to enter Canada and the ArriveCAN app. And you’ll not only have to quarantine for 14 days regardless of that test’s result, you’ll also have to do 2 more tests (day 1 and day 8) and you’ll still have to quarantine if those are negative too.

      It’s The Science™, it cannot be questioned. There is no logic, it’s about punishing the unvaccinated and scoring political points with the scared demographic that wants unvaccinated travelers to be punished 😛

  16. ariel davidson

    Since we are having issues getting the passports. I want to travel via land over the border from Montreal into the USA. Adults have passports its the kids that are the issue. Can we fly domestic from Burlington VT to Orlando with no passports for the kids? They are Canadian…I will have their birth certificates.

    1. Carly

      Thank you for all your advice in your article. Quick question . . .

      Can an unvaxed Canadian go to Mexico as the end destination with a layover in the USA?

      1. Andrew D'Amours

        No, you cannot transit in the US if you are not vaccinated as the US does not offer sterile international transits. In short, connecting in the US means entering the US, so you need to follow their entry rules. Here’s the section about US transits for more details.

  17. Lavanya

    Clear explanation about how Canadians people can travel to the United States in this article. Thanks for the information

  18. LK

    Hi, could you please explain the last part when you say: if negative, take the test on the full calendar day before (NOT just 24 hours). In my case, if I’m leaving on the 10th, when should I take the test?

      1. Kat

        When the airlines/customs ask for proof of vaccination, what do they do with it? Do they go through a process?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        I can’t say for the land border since they didn’t ask me both times I went, but my plane I’ve entered many many times and they just look at the document to see if it says you are vaccinated or not. Not sure what you mean, does that answer your question?

  19. James

    Aside from the Canadian Government requirements the airlines mat have their own rules. I am a critical service worker and have an exempt certificate from Arrive-Can. However my last flight out of the USA was Delta and they require a negative test before boarding their aircraft. The Arrive-Can paperwork is strictly for the Canadian Government and it doesn’t apply to them.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      No Delta does not have test requirements. They only apply the countries’ rules, like every other airline in the world except Etihad. However, like all other airlines, they do have employees who don’t know the rules and exemptions so that’s why it’s important that you know them well and make sure to tell them they ar wrong.

      1. Julie

        My unvaxed teenagers are booked with Delta to fly from Calgary to Guatemala City in August. They have one layover in LA. I was reassured by a Delta rep that Delta will only require what the destination is requiring, which in this case is a negative Covid test. The rep said it will not matter that they have a layover in the US. Is this correct info from what you know?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Yes as mentioned in this post, there are absolutely no requirements to enter the USA for those under the age of 18. So they will only check the requirements for the destination indeed 🙂

      3. Julie

        So Delta let my unvaxed 15 and 19 year olds fly from Calgary to Guatemala City via LAX. But we could not convince the Delta Rep in Guatemala City to let them return home the same way. They were adamant that they could not connect through the states, even though Delta had let them fly down through the states unvaxed. Very frustrating! Cost us over $4000 extra dollars to buy new tickets through AeroMexico, flying to Mexico city and then straight to YVR.
        Do you think it’s any use taking this up with Delta since they’d reassured me like four times on the phone before their trip that they’d be fine and also let them use one way of their return ticket, but not the other way?
        So frustrating and very expensive!

      4. Andrew D'Amours

        The vaccination requirement applies to those over 18, so the 19-year-old shouldn’t have been allowed on the outbound flight (and the 15-year-old should have been allowed on the inbound flight). I would definitely try to get them to reimburse you for your out-of-pocket expenses since it’s their mistake for sure.

      5. Raven

        when flying from Canada to USA does the original vaccine passport work or do I need the qr code ?

  20. Melody

    Hi! Thank you so much for writing these information. It really helps us planning our trip. I just have one question though, me and fiancé are both fully vaccinated and planning to fly from Bellingham to Los Angeles, however, we are crossing to the border from Vancouver. I understand that domestic flights and crossing border by land does not require covid test but we are wondering if we still need to get tested since we are crossing by land then flying to LA. I appreciate your reply. Thank you so much!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      No, as you said, entering by land does not require a test and domestic flights do not require a test. End of story 🙂

  21. Johnny

    Hey Andrew, Thank you for your time and work on this.
    I have a question about the proof of vaccination, will our vaccination card with QR code on our mobile phones work or do we need to print out something to show when traveling from Toronto – Los Angeles?
    As for the Rapid antigen test what is the best piece of documentation to provide when arriving into the States.
    Thank you

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      The US isn’t very strict, but still, you should get the “Canadian” vaccine passport to be safe as they might not recognize a provincial name ( No need to print anything. Test can be the digital report as well 🙂 To be clear you won’t need it when arriving into the USA, it will only be checked by the airline (if it is checked t all).

  22. Isaac

    As a Canadian citizen do I need to test for domestic flights within the US?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Nobody needs anything to board a domestic flight in the US, there is no test or vaccine requirement just like almost every country in the world (except Canada).
      So if you are one of the Canadians who are very scared of unvaccinated travelers, just a good thing to know about 😛

  23. Jason

    Good morning, my family and I are looking to travel to the US in mid-April of this year. The adults are all fully vaccinated, the two children are not. The children at the time of travel would be 5 and 3. The plan would be to travel from Buffalo (we live in Niagara and its closer and cheaper), to Florida. Would this be possible and easily done? In theory, we would cross in Fort Erie by land, head to the Buffalo airport and fly to Florida that way. Then fly back to Buffalo and re-cross in Fort Erie by land.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Yes, it’s possible and it’s by far the easiest option. The only test required would be for the 5 year-old to enter Canada, unless Canada announces a new exemption for kids.

  24. Chip

    So, if my wife and I we are double vaccinated and my 4 years old unvaccinated , and we are planning to travel to Seattle from Vancouver for less than 72 hours by land. We don’t need any Covid tests. Right?

  25. Cole

    Bonjour Andrew,

    Moi et ma famille voudrions passer la frontière américaine sans être vaccinés.
    Est-ce que les douaniers américains au Québec sont regardant sur la vaccination ?
    Peut-on juste attester verbalement en espérant qu’ils nous laissent passer ?
    Et dans le cas où ils voudraient vérifier le pass vaccinal de quelle façon ils le vérifient, en scannant le code QR ou juste en jetant un coup d’œil sur la fiche ?

    Merci pour ta réponse.

  26. Adam

    Hi, I have a question I just made a rapid test appointment the day before my flight. I fly out March 16th, and scheduled a rapid test with Walmart on the 15th. I can take the test anytime, as long as the time frame is in the date of the 15th? Can I test a week before I fly out? Or do I have to do it on the 15th. Thanks!

  27. Myriam

    Je pars pour Miami dans 2 semaines avec les enfants. Quelle genre de preuve doit-on présenter si on fait un test rapide à la maison? Mais quand je lis sur le site de CDC, il y a beaucoup d’exigences, et je ne veux pas prendre la risque de me faire virer de bord avec les enfants… :

    You can use a self-test (sometimes referred to as home test) that meets the following criteria:

    The test must be a SARS-CoV-2 viral test (nucleic acid amplification test [NAAT] or antigen test) with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) OR the relevant national authority where the test is administered.
    The testing procedure must include a telehealth service affiliated with the manufacturer of the test that provides real-time supervision remotely through an audio and video connection. Some FDA-authorized self-tests that include a telehealth service may require a prescription.
    The telehealth provider must confirm your identity, observe the sample collection and testing procedures, confirm the test result, and issue a report that meets the requirements of CDC’s Order (see “What information must be included in the test result?” below).
    Airlines and other aircraft operators must be able to review and confirm your identity and the test result details. You must also be able to present the documentation of test results to U.S. officials at the port of entry and local/state health departments, if requested.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Bonjour, un test fait à la maison sans surveillance par télésanté n’est pas accepté par aucun pays du monde (une des très rares règles universelles haha). Si tu n’as pas de rapport, c’est donc inutile. Ça prend un rapport de labo.
      Donc pour entrer aux États-Unis par avion, ça te prend soit:
      — un test négatif
      — un test positif ET une lettre d’un médecin
      Voici les détails:

  28. Alyssa

    Thanks for the info Andrew. One question I have I’m having trouble finding the answer to is what Canada considers 10 days post positive test to enter. The government website says, “ You must provide proof of a COVID-19 negative molecular test result to enter Canada OR proof of a previous positive test result taken between 10 and 180 days ago.” then goes on the say, “ Canadians: To avoid being fined $5,000 per traveller (plus surcharges), wait to enter Canada until the 10th day after your positive test result.” I tested positive Jan 29 @10 am. Can I fot home on February 8th? Or do I have to wait until the 9th?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      The response we got from Health Canada media relations is that the precise timing of the day is not relevant in this calculation. It’s 10 full days. So in your case you’d be allowed to board only on the 9th.

  29. Jules

    Hi, I have a coworker with a small general aviation airplane (Cessna 172). Could my coworker fly my unvaccinated friend from Pit Meadows airport (small airport near Vancouver) to Bellingham or Seattle? My friend then wants to fly solo (by commercial airline) to Mexico and then return direct to Vancouver from Mexico (also commercial airline). Do you think this would be possible? Thanks for any help

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      No because the US requires foreigners to be fully vaccinated to enter. If you can get a private plane to take you to Mexico, which has no entry requirements at all, then this would most definitely work yes.

      1. Ray

        Can you fly to Mexico on a private owned plane but stop in the USA top up fuel and continue on to Mexico?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        That is a great question, I don’t seem to be able to find anything online about this unfortunately.

      3. Jules

        Thanks for the quick reply! Any difference if an unvaccinated person took a private boat from Vancouver to Bellingham, WA?

      4. Andrew D'Amours

        No unfortunately, the US requires foreigners to be fully vaccinated to enter. Whether it is in a car, on a plane, on a boat, on a UFO or any other mode, the US requires vaccination all the time :S

  30. Neena

    Does a Canadian vaccine passport work for proof of vaccination in Hawaii right now at their restaurants? I’ve seen that fully vaxxed Canadians flying direct no longer need to enrol in Safe Travels, but is there another requirement once you’re on the island for dining etc?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, I have not seen comments about that. But surely like most destinations, they have some way of recognizing foreign vaccination proof to allow entry to restaurants and other places since they encourage foreign visitors. You can check their tourism website or official government COVID-19 website for info. We have our hands pretty full with just the travel restrictions themselves so we’ll stick to that only, unfortunately 😛

      1. Julie

        If I am a fully vaccinated Canadian who travelled to the USA via land border in Maine and my ‘72 hour before crossing’ test comes back positive am I still allowed to cross into Canada and continue home to isolate? And how long is isolation in Canada for people who have travelled outside the country?

  31. Kristine

    Hi Andrew, I am a Canadian driving across the Detroit boarder and flying out of Metro Airport to Mexico. Do I require a covid test to board the plane? So confused lol Thank you in advance

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      No test required to enter the US by land and no test required to fly domestically (like almost every country in the world too) and no test required to enter Mexico, so you’re good 🙂

  32. William Chittick

    If i fly from France to canada, as a fully vaccinated Canadian, how long do i have to wait in canada before i can fly to the usa?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, there isn’t really a waiting period anymore, it’s just that you will be tested on arrival and required to isolate until you get the results. You should be able to leave isolation to go to the airport if you’re flying out of the country, but I’ll double-check with Health Canada since, yet again, the government website is pretty useless on this subject.

  33. Angela

    Can an unvaccinated Canadian of any age drive into the US for “non-essential” travel? From this post, it looks like that may be the case, but perhaps it was only referring to not having to test and perhaps that still means you have to provide proof of vaccination.
    Thanks for your help!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi no unfortunately this post states that the rules are pretty clear about entering the US :S

      1. Jessica

        Hi Andrew,
        While there has been some changes on the US side of things recently, many Canadians have travelled unvaccinated to the US since November. People post their travel experiences with proof on travel groups and I personally know people who have crossed by land multiple times. So it’s not that simple. Since the 22nd, they started ‘cracking down’, hence the convoys.

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Yeah before January 22nd, essential travelers were exempt so it makes sense that they would not verify systematically. Might definitely have changed since, all the many reports I’ve seen of unvaccinated Canadians entering the USA by land were pre-January 22nd for sure.

      3. Kris

        As soon as things change on land travel for unvaccinated traveller’s can you please let me know. I am, but my husband and son are not and we would like to drive to see my husbands family in the US since it has been way too long and they are getting old. I totally agree with your comment that at this point it should totally be a personal risk assessment everyone just has to take for themselves…since we know that fully vaccinated people can spread it and catch it just like the unvaccinated can… thanks for your help

  34. Georgia

    Hello Andrew, I love this website and article! I have a question, has an announcement been made regarding exemption guidelines for an unvaccinated Canadian citizen married to an American born citizen to enter the USA by land or air? Where can I find information? Thanks for your time.

  35. Paul

    Hi Andrew: You’ve pulled together a terrific website… and thanks to you, I’m now thinking it just might be smarter to cancel next month’s fight to Florida out of Toronto and navigate that border by flying out of Buffalo instead. And as you pointed out, U.S. fares look good. One question: On our return, even though we’re triple-vaxxed, if it turned out we had an asymptomatic but positive result on that 72-hour molecular test, what would happen when we tried to drive back across the border from Buffalo?

  36. Aurelie

    Bonjour! Pour un retour au Canada à partir du Mexique (escale aux USA)… est-ce que les USA acceptent également le PCR ou je dois faire les deux tests? (puisque les USA acceptent le test AG rapide et le Canada accepte le PCR)
    Merci beaucoup!

  37. Brent

    Wow!! So glad I discovered your site. Extremely helpful. Hearing that starting on Dec. 6th, Canadians will have to show proof of negative antigen test when entering the US (by air AND by land). Just curious about how one provides proof of this negative antigen test……isn’t this a test that you can administer yourself??
    Thank you in advance.

  38. Justine

    Can unvaccinated Canadians travel to the United States after November 8? Trip is planned for Nov 20 – 28, so would be going and coming before the “transition period” for unvaccinated is over.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi no, you cannot. The transition period is related to Canada’s rule to board a plane departing from Canada. It is completely separate. The US has their own entry rules and they no longer let unvaccinated foreigners in.

  39. Patrica

    Can an unvaccinated Canadian fly from Florida to Costa Rica return now??

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, yes Costa Rica has no vaccination requirement. You won’t be able to return to the US though, unless you are a US citizen.

  40. Julie

    What if you are a fully vaccinated Canadian… Drive across the border to Detroit, get on a plane from Detroit to Utah?

    What’s the requirements for testing for that?

  41. Marcel

    HI, I’m not sure I understand the timing for which tests can be used to fly into the USA. If I fly to the US on Nov 5, I can get a rapid antigen on Nov 3rd and be fine?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, you can even have it done on the 2nd at any time of the day, the US is different and doesn’t care about the precise time.

  42. James

    Andrew, by far you are in my top 3 sites for direct clear information which is well organized. Bravo.
    You have mentioned the possibility of flying private or travelling by boat. Does boat mean a small yacht which can be hired to cross the ST. Lawrence?
    Don’t private flights to small US airports still require passengers to go through border patrol who would check if you are vaccinated?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, glad we can help!
      You can travel by boat but not to the US since they will require vaccination starting tomorrow. But you could go to Mexico the long way haha 😛

      1. Alyssa

        Thanks for the info! To confirm, a flight flying from Hawaii to Arizona does not require any negative tests for a Canadian traveller. Just proof of vaccination?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        No proof of vaccination either, absolutely nothing is required for domestic flights. About 2 million Americans flew just yesterday, they wouldn’t tolerate any requirements whatsoever unlike us (cultural differences I guess) and so you do not need to be tested or vaccinated (and this is the case for domestic flights in almost every country in the world by the way).

  43. Patty

    Does anyone know if an “unvaccinated” Canadian married to an American can cross over? I’m planning to drive across the border by mid or end of November, however, I’m worry my husband won’t be allowed to go in. 🙁

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      They did not specify yet, but the current restrictions by air (completely separate) have this exemption:

      So if they keep the same exemptions as now and if they apply them to the land border too, it should work but you’ll have to confirm once they announced the actual rules.

  44. Todd

    Great post thanks.
    If you are unvaccinated and trying to fly the US before Oct 30 but don’t have a return flight till after Nov 8, (snow bird) will there be border protection stop you because you’ll be in the US unvaccinated after they’re Nov 8 mandate?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Todd,like in most countries the only federal rule is about entry. That’s all that matters. So as long as you’re in before November 8, no issues. Some cities may have vaccine requirements for some activities of course, but that’s a minority and not many in the sunny parts of the country!

      1. james

        for unvaccinated travelers, after November 30th will they not be able to leave or return Canada at all by land sea or air ?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Starting November 30, those who are unvaccinated cannot board a plane in a Canadian airport.
        Entry rules are completely separate, there are no changes to entry rules so any Canadian can always enter Canada.

        But effectively, since the US is banning unvaccinated foreigners, no plane and no land means unless you leave before November 30, unvaccinated Canadians will be stuck here. Unless you fly private or use a boat. If the government goes ahead with it has announced.

  45. Doreen

    Just like to Thankyou for your site.
    It’s a blessing to be able to be informed for travel into different places and be able to know the requirements to depart & enter.🇨🇦

  46. Martin

    Does anyone know if for re-entry into Canada is the 72 hours is calculated from date of test or date of results received?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi the test itself must be performed at most 72 hours before the scheduled time of departure of your direct flight to Canada.

  47. Olive

    This is really informative. Thank you for writting this piece to guide people who are thinking of travelling to the US. I just need to confirm though, that Rapid test are accepted in both US and Canada? In BC NAAT travel test is for $200. Thanks in advance!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, rapid antigen tests are NOT accepted to enter Canada (but to enter the USA yes). Canada only accepts PCRs and also rapid molecular tests, only available in the US though (NAATs).

  48. Deb

    I love your site, very informative.
    I read it all, but I am overloaded with information. So hopefully I am not bothering you.
    Myself and my 2 adult children are travelling from Toronto to Florida the last week of October. We are fully Vaccinated.
    1. What do we need to fly out?
    What test do we need? Where is the best place for a test in Ontario?
    What do exactly need to travel easily?
    2. Flying home, A specific test, No cost
    Walgreens or CVS ?
    Thanks for your time and help,
    Warm Regards
    Deb S

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      If nothing changes until then:
      To enter the US, you need a rapid antigen test. Shoppers Drug Mart at $40 seems to be the best option in Ontario, if not it’s $60 at YYZ directly (details:
      To enter Canada, you need a molecular test (PCR or NAAT). Walgreens is the best bet with the faster NAAT, but there are plenty of free options in almost every state, including Florida (details:

  49. Dylan

    Hi Andrew,
    When I’ve been looking to book a PCR test online at Walgreens, it asks for my state ID or state drivers license. I was able to plug my US AirBnB address in the previous step for my address, but am curious as to what you did for this step. Did you just select whatever state you’re in and enter your provincial drivers license information? Please let me know whenever you can. Thanks a lot!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      I took the NAAT and not the PCR, so they didn’t require ID. But from other travelers’ experiences, the ID is again just to identify you correctly, they don’t mind if it’s not a US drivers license since tests are not restricted to residents, but you can double-check with the testing location specifically and let us know so we can share with other readers:)

  50. Louise Carbone

    Hi Andrew, my daughter is trying to get home to Canada from Morocco (she has been there 8 months) and unfortunately, her direct flight was cancelled. We are having a heck of a time trying to figure out if she can fly via Air France from Morocco to Boston (with a stop at CDG) and then take an AC flight from Boston to Montreal. She is not vaccinated because (anyways the vaccine in Morocco is not recognized in Canada). She will have taken her PCR test in Morocco and then take another PCR test in Boston. Will she have any trouble? Otherwise, the option was to fly RAM to JFK, get tested (PCR) and then shuttle over to LGA. Any insight you could provide would be helpful. HELP.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, unfortunately, anyone who has been in most of Europe in the previous 14 days will not be allowed to enter the United States (unless they have US citizenship/residency). Even transits in Europe count so both Boston and New York are not options for Canadians in Europe.

      Entering the US would work after a transit in Turkey or the Gulf countries would work though (the ban is on the Schengen area—which is most of the EU—and the UK and Ireland) or from Morocco to the US directly (but I don’t see any direct flights in the short term).

      If not, she’ll have to go from Morocco to Europe then to Canada directly. In all cases, a PCR test needs to be done at the transit country (or there’s the NAAT option instead of a PCR if she transits in the US).

      The fact she is not vaccinated might preclude her from entering/transiting in some countries, so double-check that (although some countries might accept other types of vaccines than Canada). The US has no vaccine requirement if she finds a flight from Morocco to there without going through Europe.

      Hope this helps!

  51. Jerome Perrin

    I understand the rules for travelling to Canada from the US by land. However it is not clear to me what are the requirements to enter the US by land for a Canadian with a green card. Can anyone enlighten me ?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, there are no requirements to enter the US by land (no testing required). The US website says this: “U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and individuals with valid travel documents will be exempted.” So as a permanent resident with a Green Card, it seems you are allowed to enter.

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