Yesterday (June 15) I returned to Hawaii from another Canada trip. The rules for re-entering the US have recently changed – again – so here is an update.
You don’t have to pre-travel test
As of June 12, 2022 you no longer have to pre-travel test. This takes away some of the stress of needing to line up a test, and of course the expense of it.After my $40 tests at Save-on-Foods Pharmacy (BC) had been cancelled by the pharmacy, I had lined up $100 travel tests at a Covid center. A few days later the US changed their re-entry requirements and I cancelled the appointments. There was a $50 cancellation fee. Better than being out $200, right?
You need to show proof of vaccination
Canada itself is doing away with its vaccination requirement for domestic travel as of June 20. However the US still requires non-citizens/non-residents to show proof of vaccination to enter by air. Please check the CDC website to confirm closer to your trip as this may change.
Some People are flying sick
On both our flights to Canada and then the return flight to Hawaii there were at least 3 people with pretty substantial coughs, including unmasked toddlers. Is it Covid, allergies, a bad cold? Who knows. We brought our KN95 masks and wore them for the duration of the flight. The last thing we needed was to get sick while on our trip.
Please ~ if you are sick, don’t travel.
You still need to mask
Canadian airports and flights still require you to mask when not actively eating or drinking. This also goes for international flights between Canadian and US destinations. Given the coughing we witnessed, I was happy to keep it on. Once you disembark the flight in Hawaii, the mask is optional.
We flew out of Vancouver International Airport (YVR). I had heard about problems with short-staffing at security line-ups. We dropped the rental car off around 3:15pm for our 6:30pm flight. When we walked up into the departures hall the first thing we saw was an incredible lineup for the domestic security check-point. Wow.
We headed to the US check-in. I once again had not been able to upload jpg files of our vaccination cards, which meant I hadn’t been able to check-in online. There was a decent line-up at Westjet but they had five counters open and got us through within half hour or so. Again there was a huge line for security past the luggage drop-off. We have Nexus cards and were able to bypass the line. I do feel guilty jumping the line. But, as my son said, we don’t make the rules. There was exactly one security line open, though another opened just after we’d gone through. US immigration is a breeze with Nexus cards. We ate dinner at the Vancouver Canucks bar per usual (their crispy fish tacos are my fave). As we were leaving the restaurant we saw a family with young kids who had just gotten through immigration and were headed to dinner. I figure they had taken about an hour longer than we had.
Long story short, arrive at the airport EARLY. This goes for both Canadian AND Hawaii airports.
Is it safe to travel?
Everyone has their own thoughts on this. I’ve flown to Canada three times in the past year. Take precautions. The last thing you want is to get sick on your trip.