With recent changes various countries have made to their Covid-19 safety measures, it can be a little confusing to know the requirements for travel. Here we tell you What do you need to travel to the United States and Canada? as a tourist in March 2022 and arrival by plane.
Requirements to enter the United States
In addition to having a valid passport and visa, you must comply with the following.
1. Be fully vaccinated.
It is considered as such when at least 14 days have passed since you received your last dose of a valid vaccine: Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson&Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Covaxin, Covishield or Novavax/Covovax.
We are talking about the regular diet, currently United States does not ask travelers for a third dose test.
Your vaccination certificate with QR code is valid proof for travel.
Photo: Unsplash/Andy He
2. Negative Covid-19 test.
This is a requirement for anyone over the age of 2, whether or not you are fully vaccinated. It is presented to the airline before the trip and it is possible that they will also request it from Immigration when you arrive at your destination.
This can be a PCR or antigen test from which the sample was taken up to a day before your flight. For example: if your flight departs on Friday at 1:00 p.m., you can submit a passed test any time on Thursday.
Your result can be in physical or digital form, but it must include the following data: type of test, laboratory that performed it, date the sample was taken and your identification data (full name, date of birth and/or identification number (passport).
If you have recently had Covid-19, you can submit proof of recovery instead of the negative test. That is: your original positive test, taken no more than 90 days before the flight, and a signed letter from a health care provider stating that you can travel.
The letter should include the name, address, and phone number of the health care provider or facility that treated you, as well as your full name and date of birth.
The airline will ask you to sign a form in which you ensure that the information presented is true.
Photo: Unsplash/Luca Micheli
Check the rules of the destination you are visiting
The requirements that we have just mentioned are valid in all United States. However, before travelling, check the official pages of the destination you are visiting to find out what measures you must respect during your stay. You need to know if you will need to wear a mask indoors or show proof of vaccination to enter certain public places, for example.
Enter official websites at the state level, in addition to the city you are visiting.
More and more places are relaxing the measures. For example, New York State is no longer required to wear a face covering indoors (unless a company requires it as one of their policies) and New York City has already abolished the requirement to present proof of vaccination to enter restaurants or museums.
If you are traveling by land
You must present your proof of complete vaccination, with the same conditions that we have mentioned above.
Photo: Unsplash/David Lusvardi
Requirements to enter Canada
In addition to having a valid passport and an electronic travel authorization (eTA, the permit that is processed online), this is what you need.
1. Be fully vaccinated.
A person is considered to meet this requirement if at least 14 calendar days have passed since the application of the last dose of their regular schedule (the third dose is not taken into account). Here are the accepted vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson&Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Covaxin and Novavax.
The vaccination certificate must be in English or French. If you examine your certificate processed in Mexico, you will notice that below each piece of data there is an English translation.
Unvaccinated minors can travel with a vaccinated adult, but the requirements are different (we explain this later).
Photo: Unsplash/ Conor Samuel
2. Negative Covid-19 test.
It is compulsory for everyone from 5 years old. This can be a PCR or antigen test.
In the case of the antigen test, for it to be validated, the sample had to have been taken up to one day before the flight. It’s like the example we gave in the United States: if your flight leaves at 1 p.m. on Friday, you can have taken the test at any time on Thursday and it is valid.
With the PCR test, it may have been taken up to 72 hours before the flight. For example, if your flight departs at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, your sample should have been taken after 10:59 a.m. on Tuesday.
Proof must include traveler’s full name, date of birth, laboratory name and address, date sample was collected, type of test performed and result.
If you have recently had Covid-19, you can present your positive PCR test. The sample had to have been taken at least 10 days before and no more than 180 days before.
3. Complete a profile on the ArriveCAN platform.
This platform is available in web version or via an application. Its use is free and from the same smartphone you can save the profiles of several members of your family.
The first thing you need to do is give your passport details so they can verify your identity when you get to Canada and also upload your proof of vaccination on the platform. For the latter, it can be a digital file or a photo taken of your physical certificate.
You can upload your proof of vaccination well before your trip.
Within 72 hours prior to your arrival at Canada, you need to query ArriveCAN. They will ask you about your Covid-19 test result, your travel history, your quarantine plan* and if you have any symptoms.
After answering all the questions and uploading all the necessary information, the platform should give you a receipt with the letter “A”, “I” or “V” next to your name.
Even if you have your ArriveCAN receipt ready, you must travel with proof of vaccination (paper or digital) separately, in addition to your Covid-19 proof.
*It is necessary to have a 14-day quarantine plan, just in case. You should be able to answer these questions:
Do you have a place to stay for 14 days if quarantine is required? It can be a hotel, for example.
Will you be able to order food or meet other needs without leaving this place?
Will you share this space with other people?
Photo: Unsplash/ Sergei Pesterev
Covid-19 test on arrival
Until February 28, it was compulsory to take a Covid-19 test on arrival at Canada (You had to register in advance with an approved laboratory at the airport). Now the tests are random.
If you have a test, you will not need to quarantine yourself to wait for the results.
traveling with minors
Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 can travel with a vaccinated person, without having to quarantine. They must be tested before travelling.
Those between the ages of 12 and 17 who are not vaccinated MUST be quarantined for 14 days, in addition to 3 Covid-19 tests: before the flight, on arrival and on the eighth day.
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