You are currently viewing How to travel during the pandemic (simplified version)

In October, Canada finally got over all this, 8+ months after World Health Organization experts recommended removing all travel restrictions for all travelers. But that doesn’t mean every country is over this! Let’s quickly recap how to travel during the pandemic. It’s really not as complicated as it seems if you take a few minutes to read.

You can sign up for our free newsletter to receive all travel rules updates (they often change), and you’ll also get first access to a ton of pro tips to travel for less (well, at the same time as the 90,000+ savvy Canadian travelers already signed up).

It’s more than time to jump onboard the revenge travel craze (better late than never)!

Here’s how, a simplified version.


Visual summary of how to travel

Here’s an infographic summarizing the rules.

See full-size image


Let’s take a brief look at each element.


2 sets of rules

You always need to look out for the same 2 sets of rules for any destination and type of trip. The process is quite simple, really; just these 2 sets of rules to follow, and that’s it!

There are NO other rules. None. Just entry rules.

It’s that simple.

And rules might stick around for a while in some countries, so unless you really don’t like to travel, you have to get used to them and take a few minutes to become independent and be well prepared! I’ll say it again, it’s really not that complicated, and Flytrippers will help you get it all figured out!

2 sets of rules for travel (image credit: Flytrippers)


1st set of rules: Entering your destination 

Here are the rules to enter other countries:

  • Each country obviously has its own rules

To check the entry rules for every country:

  • There’s only one official source for all entry rules: the IATA website
  • There’s our research of the rules for Canadians specifically: the Flytrippers guide

If you want travel to be as easy as possible, go to one of the:


Yes, it’s the same source for every country in the world, so it’s easy to know where to look! Every country! Once again: very simple!

However, that is written by bureaucrats and for all nationalities in the world, so it’s not always easy to understand the rules even if it’s easy to find where all the rules are.

That’s why to help you, we list the rules in simpler terms for Canadians specifically in our guide to entry rules for each country (we spend many hours updating it regularly, and we can send you the next version directly by email).

We link to the IATA website in every country’s rules in our guide so it’s easy to double-check the most recent rules for almost every trip (because they can change the very next day after our guide update, so you always have to validate).

In the rare cases when the IATA website is not clear, the country’s official website is what you need to look for. But keep in mind that airlines almost always apply what the IATA website says, and airlines are obviously the ones who enforce the rules.

For tips on edge cases like transits, exceptions, etc. stay tuned for more tips.

Again, it’s very important to ignore everything you read from random people on the Internet. They might know the rules from when they went to a country, but rules can change every single day (also, the person might just have no clue what they’re talking about too; very likely).


2nd set of rules: Entering Canada

Here are the rules to enter Canada:

  • None

It’s over!


Concrete example of travel rules from A to Z

You can read our complete guide on how to travel to the United States to see one very concrete example from A to Z.

And for any other country in the world, follow the same guide by replacing the USA entry rules with the other country’s entry rules (refer to our guide to every country’s entry rules). Simple!


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Traveling doesn’t need to be complicated. Plenty of countries have no rules and even more of them have no test requirements for most Canadians. Canada’s rules are all gone now. That’s it. Pretty simple, right?

What would you like to know about pandemic travel? Tell us in the comments below.


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Featured image: San Blas Islands, Panama (photo credit: Angel Silva)

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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: 71/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Sam

    “Pre-entry test required only for unvaccinated travelers” – does this include unvaxxed foreigners? I thought unvaxxed foreigners are now allowed to entry Canada at all at this time. Pls clarify. Thank you

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, no unfortunately only Canadians can enter Canada without being vaccinated.

  2. Murray

    Are there any rules that prohibit multiple trips between Canada and USA if fully vaccinated and no COVID symptoms? I entered back into Canada 30 March from USA and plan to enter USA again 6 April for another week. Thanks

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hey, no such rules 🙂 I’m going to the US tonight to test out the borders and I’m flying back Thursday. Only issue is if you are selected randomly for an arrival test after the first trip, and if you’re positive.

      1. Ed

        Your ‘only’ issue you mentioned here is exactly what happened to us yesterday when arriving at the US Land border. Be warned! I caught Covid in Canada before we left, developed symptoms in US, took a Rapid Antigen test (as we were curious if I had it or not) and found out I had it. It threw a massive curveball for the remainder of our trip and definitely tainted our first trip to the US in over 2. 5 years. As long as the random testing requirements remain and the consequences for testing positive do as well it will give us pause before planning another trip to the US. The border officer asked if we had any symptoms. It was then that I could have lied and said No and we drive off or I tell the truth. Well I told the truth that I had tested positive mid week and now despite all being vaccinated (and with all having minor cold like symptoms), all 4 of us had a virtual covid testing appt early this morning. We must all quarantine for 10-14 days depending on what our test results are. Secondary testing in 8 days may be required. We are being treated like we are unvaccinated crossing the border. My wife and I cannot go to work, my kids cannot go to school for longer than if we stayed in Canada and we are now essentially prisoners in our homes. I am glad all your back and forth travel to the US has worked out for you, unfortunately that was not the case for me and my family. I am letting you know this so your other readers can read about what can potentially happen if you travel. International travel is different now (even with pre -testing requirements removed) and am skeptical it will ever return to normal again. As you can imagine I am totally pissed off at what happened to us. I wish before I left I had thought more about what would happen if one member of our family tested positive in the US and was randomly selected for testing at the border. I had focused too much on the pre testing requirements being dropped and not possible negative situations. There is more that needs to go before travel can be as it was again. For me that day cannot come soon enough.

  3. Nicole

    My daughter tested positive on her swab 24 hour prior to flight from Norway to Toronto. We didn’t upload it to arrive can app. Can she swab daily until she is negative then upload that negative and fly or will she have to wait till April 1? She has never done a PCR. We fall right between the old rules and and new ones and nobody can answer us!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      You can always enter Canada if you have a valid negative test so yes. As long as she follows the local isolation rules too, if any.
      And as long as she has no symptoms of course, but that rules applies whether or not you have a test, it’s completely separate.

  4. Greg

    We are traveling from Barbados via Toronto and connecting to Edmonton. Unfortunately, we have a 12 hr layover in Toronto. We have been told that we cannot leave the airport because of Covid rules. Is this accurate or a pre-April 1 rule?

    Looking at the Air Canada Stopover program it has been discontinued because of covid and it is on the website that we can’t leave the airport.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Honestly, I’ve never heard of such a rule in the 2 years of this pandemic really. Don’t see why you could not leave the airport.

  5. Ed

    The Rapid Antigen test has to be taken within one full calendar day? So for example, if we are driving back from the USA on Mar 31, the test has to be taken on Mar 30 sometime? If taken on the 28th or 29th it would not be valid?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Exactly. The day you enter or the full calendar day before. But in the US it’s much wiser to get a free NAAT (Walgreens ID NOW test) 72 hours before entering since the results are just as fast.

  6. Marlene

    You can board a plane in canada without a vaccine. Aeromexico out of Vancouver for eg!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Well, not according to the official rules at least. But enforcement is the airlines’ responsibility and it is possible that not 100% of passengers will be checked, there’s no guarantee they won’t either. We’ve seen testimonials from travelers who were denied boarding by Aeromexico specifically, so unless they recently decided to not follow federal law, it’s a gamble :S

    2. Michelle

      Which airport? Just curious as I know folks that are not vaxxed that have travelled to Mexico and couldn’t figure out how or if they lucked out. I am vaccinated but know someone that isn’t and I thought it was up to the airline, not the airport but that’s not what I keep reading. Thanks!

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