Do I Need a COVID-19 Test to Travel Internationally?

According to a new poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, many Americans have reported that their lives are finally starting to return to normal following the COVID-19 pandemic, with 79% of people reporting they’ll travel again in the near future.

Even though many Americans are getting back to the airport or in the car to travel, this doesn’t mean that all the international travel restrictions put into place during the pandemic have been lifted. Before booking your trip, it’s important to know what testing or vaccination is needed to enter – if any at all.

Frequently Asked Questions About International Traveling During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Do I Need to Test for COVID Before I Fly Internationally?

As of June 12, 2022, the CDC no longer requires air passengers traveling from a foreign country to the United States to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19.

When is Testing Recommended Before Traveling?

Even if it’s not required, many travelers still continue to test for COVID-19 pre- and post-flights – which is a good idea. When testing before a flight or other trip, it’s best to test as close to the start of the event as possible – no more than 24 hours before.

Knowing your COVID status can help you decide if it’s truly safe to travel or whether you’re safe or not to see friends and family once home. Testing can also be a great tool in limiting the impact COVID has on those with underlying health conditions.

Do I Have to Be Fully Vaccinated to Travel Internationally?

It depends on where you’re going. While some countries require you to be fully vaccinated, others do not. According to the CDC, it discourages any non-essential travel by those who are not fully vaccinated.

What Does Fully Vaccinated Mean?

You are considered fully vaccinated once two weeks have passed since the second dose of your COVID-19 vaccine or your single dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

But what about boosters? Once you get any booster doses that you’re eligible for, you’ll be considered fully up to date with your vaccination.

Being fully vaccinated will allow you a bit more freedom to do things you might not have been able to do because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the CDC still recommends wearing a mask indoors if you live in an area with a high spread of transmission.

Do I Need a COVID Test for a Cruise?

While the majority of cruise lines have required a negative COVID-19 test from all guests since the start of the pandemic, regardless of vaccination status, cruise lines are starting to ease on these requirements if you’re fully vaccinated. If you are unvaccinated, you may still be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 before boarding the ship.

Is COVID Testing Needed to Travel to China?

Yes, all passengers traveling to China must have two PCR tests done 24 - 48 hours before departure, testing negative for each. Additionally, China requires a negative test upon entry and must quarantine for at least 14 days upon arrival.

Is COVID Testing Needed to Travel to Japan?

Yes, all passengers heading to Japan must have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before departure.

Traveling to Canada During COVID-19

In our neck of the woods, many Bellingham residents visit Canada since it’s only 20 miles north of the city. From heading up to Vancouver for the weekend or visiting close friends or family nearby, you’ll want to be fully prepared to cross the border without any complications.

Can I Travel to Canada While Unvaccinated?

No, even with proof of a negative COVID test, non-residents of Canada who are unvaccinated are not currently allowed entry.

Do I Need a Negative COVID-19 Test to Enter Canada?

No, a negative COVID test is not needed to enter Canada. However, you may still be subjected to a random test upon arrival. Those who have an Electronic Travel Authorization, but are unvaccinated, are required to take a test upon arrival and another one on day eight of their 14-day mandatory quarantine.

What’s Required to Travel to Canada?

Before embarking on your trip to Canada, you should:

  • Download ArriveCAN – ArriveCAN is a free program Canada uses to validate your eligibility to enter Canada. All travelers must use ArriveCAN, whether coming by air, land, rail, or water.
  • Enter Information into ArriveCAN – You can start using ArriveCAN after a free download from the app store. It’ll ask for a few key things that must be answered within 72 hours of your arrival:
    • Contact information
    • Travel details
    • Vaccination information
    • Travel history
    • Quarantine plan (if applicable)
  • Save ArriveCAN Receipt – The ArriveCAN receipt (which will be A, I, or V, following the vaccinated traveler’s name) should be saved for future use

If you’re traveling to Canada to board a cruise ship, a second ArriveCAN must be done before with 72 hours before boarding.

Do I Need a Negative COVID Test to Get Back into The United States?

No, a negative test is not needed to return to the United States from Canada.

Can I Currently Enter Canada?

Use this free online tool hosted on Canada’s travel and tourism website to answer a few questions and determine if you’re able to freely travel to Canada.

Travel with Confidence with ARCpoint Labs of Bellingham’s COVID-19 Testing Services

Whether you’re looking to travel to a country with required COVID-19 testing or just want to have peace of mind before being around others, ARCpoint Labs of Bellingham is here to help! We’re your go-to testing center in Bellingham to handle all your COVID-19 travel testing and vaccination needs.

We provide a number of COVID-19 services throughout the area, including:

  • All three COVID-19 vaccines: Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson
  • COVID-19 testing before travel
  • COVID-19 testing after travel
  • COVID-19 testing for business travel
  • COVID-19 testing for cruise travel

Don’t wait – get tested today, dial (360) 873-5075 or contact us online to schedule your testing or vaccination appointment or to learn more about the wide range of health and wellness solutions we offer!