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As vacations resume and international flights take off, the rules for travel are changing, and COVID-19 vaccinations have become the biggest factor in international travel restrictions. At the same time, access to vaccinations and variants of the virus are also considerations for making vaccines required for international travel. Because each country can make its own guidelines for required vaccinations and testing, you’ll need to do your research before packing your bags to know what vaccines are required for international travel and what the testing requirements are.
For many travelers, having required vaccinations is the easiest way to navigate international travel restrictions, and most countries accept similar vaccines. The most popular are AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Sinovac. These vaccines required for international travel are only valid 14 days after you received the final dose.
Throughout the pandemic, Mexico has kept its borders open and allowed international travelers to enter without any required vaccinations or proof of testing. However, the U.S. has released CDC guidelines for travel to Mexico to help protect everyone. The CDC’s Mexico travel warningrecommends being fully vaccinated before traveling and following guidelines for face masks and social distancing. You should also reconsider travel if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 and aren’t fully vaccinated or if you’ve recently tested positive for COVID-19.
The international travel restrictions for non-U.S. citizens entering the country required them to be fully vaccinated, and their list of what vaccines are required for international travel include all the main ones around the world. While citizens don’t need one of the vaccines required for international travel, the CDC recommends waiting until you’re fully vaccinated to travel. However, regardless of vaccination status, all travelers entering the U.S. must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within a day of travel. Without the test, you won’t be allowed to board your plane for the U.S.
Like the U.S., Canada requires all foreign travelers to be fully vaccinated before entering their borders, and while citizens do not need to be, it is recommended. However, their air travel restrictions are stricter than the rest of North America’s. All travelers, regardless of vaccination status, are required to have negative results from a PCR COVID test. To keep track of all of this, travelers need to upload their information to ArriveCAN. Because unvaccinated travelers and some others will be asked to complete a 14-day quarantine, you’ll also need a plan for where you can isolate yourself. As variants continue to spread around the world, Canada’s Mexico travel warnings caution against all non-essential travel.
Navigating air travel restrictions, vaccine requirements, and testing regulations is a new step for travelers, but with a little research and organization, you’ll be jetting off around the world. The most important thing is to have a plan for getting tested before traveling to the U.S. or Canada, and even though there are no requirements for entering Mexico, travelers should follow the CDC guidelines for travel to Mexico and wear face masks in public spaces. By following these Mexico travel warnings, you’re more likely to get negative test results before your return flight home.