12 essential things to know before planning a road trip to the United States

After 19 months of closure, the US land border is about to reopen for adequately vaccinated travelers.

From the beginning of November, it will therefore be possible to travel by car to the United States for a tourist trip. But will it be complicated? Here are the final details.

From when exactly?

From November 8, 2021.

Will it be necessary to present proof of vaccination to customs?

Yes. You must be fully vaccinated for at least two weeks. The United States recognizes vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The government of Quebec has just made available a new proof of vaccination specially designed for trips outside Quebec, different from the QR code. We should know shortly if this new document is recognized by US customs.

The AstraZeneca vaccine will therefore be accepted?

Yes. Although it is not approved by the FDA in the United States, travelers who have received their double dose of this vaccine are considered to be adequately vaccinated.

Will mixed vaccination also be accepted?

Yes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finally made the announcement on October 15. The subject preoccupied many; millions of Canadians have received two different doses of vaccines.

Will a negative screening test be required?

No, not to travel to the United States over the land border.

What about air travel?

The screening test will remain mandatory for air travel. As of November 8, 2021, proof of vaccination will also be required to fly to the United States, which is not the case at this time.

What if I am not adequately vaccinated?

You will not be able to travel to the United States by land or air, unless you are one of the exceptional cases established by the United States authorities.

It should also be noted that vaccination will become mandatory for all Canadian travelers boarding a plane in Canada as of October 29, 2021.

Will it be necessary to show proof of vaccination in restaurants or tourist places in the United States?

It depends. Few states have adopted the vaccination passport (several have even banned it outright), but there is no uniform rule for the whole country.

In Hawaii, California, and New York State, vaccine evidence is required for certain activities, particularly in large cities. In New York, for example, it is necessary in indoor places.

Information and updates about vaccine passports – and other local health measures – are usually summarized on tourist office websites.

Will I have to present a negative screening test to return to Canada?

Yes. A negative molecular test less than 72 hours old is required, both for air travel and car travel.

Even if I’m only going to the United States for the weekend?

Yes. But for trips of less than 72 hours, this screening test may have been done in Canada, before your departure for the United States.

Should children under 12 self-isolate on return?

Yes, in part. Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 should limit contact for 14 days upon returning from a trip abroad. They can go to the park, for example, but not go to school or daycare.

Has Canada lifted its travel advisory?

No. The Canadian government continues to advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This warning has been in effect since March 13, 2020.

Canada, however, opened its borders to vaccinated travelers from the United States on August 9, 2021 and to travelers from the rest of the world on September 7, 2021.


All Government of Canada Info

All updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (in English)



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