I received an interesting question from a reader yesterday about traveling after getting vaccinated and I think the answer will be helpful for all.

“Thank you for your work on behalf of all travelers. I’m working in the healthcare system in Calgary. Today I received my second dose of the vaccine. My question for you is as follows: Can I fly within Canada or the US with proof of my vaccinations, without having to take a COVID-19 test?” Regards, Anthony

Hi Anthony, I’m not sure about Canada but I’m pretty sure that it’s unavoidable in the U.S. because even if you have been vaccinated, you can still carry the virus. You might not show symptoms but you can be contagious. But since I’m not a doctor or a government official, I asked the U.S. State Department (via Twitter) for an official answer.

First of all, I was impressed by how fast the State Department replied (within a few minutes). Secondly, they tweeted back: @JohnnyJet @CDCtravel Per #CDC guidance, all air passengers traveling to the US, regardless of vaccination status, are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery.

They also provided a link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and at the bottom of that page, you can find the official answer that they gave. But travelers will want to keep this CDC page handy because it has all kinds of other helpful information, including the new rule that’s going to require all travelers, regardless of where they live, to provide a negative COVID-19 test before arriving in the United States.

For example, it says: “On January 12, 2021, CDC issued an Order requiring all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country to get tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. This Order will go into effect on January 26, 2021.”

This will cause a lot of Americans to not travel out of the country because not only will they most likely need to get tested just before departing internationally, they will now definitely need to get tested before returning home.

Getting tested is not the easiest or cheapest thing in America and I’m not sure how it is internationally, especially since the processes and procedures vary place to place. However, I would bet that we will start seeing more and more destinations including airports and hotels offering COVID-19 tests to encourage travelers to come. Some of them will even be free.

However, the big challenge for travelers will then be what if you or a family member tests positive? Who will pay for the hotel or apartment for seven to 14 days until you or your family member tests negative? How will you return in time for work or family responsibilities? This stresses me out just typing this question. You?


Once you and your friends are vaccinated, can you quit social distancing? – via VOX

Why you should still wear a mask and avoid crowds after getting the COVID-19 vaccine – via NPR


4 Comments On "Can Travelers Avoid Testing If They’ve Been Vaccinated? "
  1. JM|

    Another question, likely more relevant to Americans…..will vaccinated folks be required to show proof of negative testing while traveling between states. I plan to fly to Maryland next week and must show a negative Covid test or quarantine. If I have proof of completed vaccination, will I be able to bypass this requirement. Also, do you think masks will still be required for vaccinated travelers. Thanks for all the info.

  2. Mark|

    Then what’s the use of getting vaccinated if we have to go thru the same exercise of masks and testing. We can just do masks and social distancing without vaccinations. It just seems counter intuitive and unlike any other vaccine we have taken over the years.

  3. sandra l peterson|

    So then what constitutes proof of recovery from Covid? If I have a positive antibody test, will that suffice as proof?

  4. kenneth mahony|

    most of europe are requesting a negative test before you allowed anywhere near a plane , We in the UK added that requirement today . Masks When in a suermarket you must wear a mask , indoor public places that are accessible you must wear a mask , public transport likewise .Two things if everyone wears a mask it save the staff refusing entry , everyone treated the same .Even when we have had the jab , we can still carry the virus ( if we get it again , being vaccinated it means we shouldnt die from the virus , doesnt mean we cannot die from something else .The virus gets onto our lips , eyes , nose . How would we feel if we had the jab , went home , then refused to wear a mask , subsequently kissed our mother or cousin , or granny . Then gave them the virus ?

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