Yesterday the kids and I returned from Canada to the US (Maui) and got first-hand experience flying with the current rules. The Canadian re-entry requirements are changing as of April 1 (no more need for the pre-travel test), but what about coming into the US?
The US pre-travel test requirements are still in place, with no announcement as of yet that changes may be coming. As it stands, you need a negative pre-travel test (viral test taken a day prior to travel) and proof of vaccination for non-US citizens. Please check the official website for the exact requirements as things are always subject to change.
UPDATE: I’ve been informed you can get a NAAT test at Save-on-Foods pharmacy (BC) for $20.
As of a month ago or two our Alberta visitors told me it was pretty easy to get these pre-travel tests (Shoppers Drugmart, I believe). However, in BC they aren’t as readily available. I did some shopping around and ended up booking our viral antigen tests at Vancouver Airport with Bon Voyage Medical (I see the price went up from $70/person to now $90/person). They have a few locations in Vancouver/Whistler area. I chose the Fairmont YVR location since we were going to be near there anyway. It was easy to set up the appointments online. I paid for them at time of booking, though the website said they were refundable up to 48 hours prior to the test. I filled out a few forms online.
On test day, I followed the signs through the Fairmont YVR hotel lobby into a repurposed conference room. We were in and out within 10 minutes and had the results within half hour.
When checking in online for my Westjet flight I answered a few Covid questions and uploaded proof of vaccination. At the check-in counter I had to show the negative test results. I had them downloaded on my phone, so that was pretty straight forward. There was no need to have them printed. The Westjet agent looked at type of test, date of test, name and then of course result.
I must say, the whole process was a lot easier leaving Vancouver for Hawaii than it had been to enter Canada last week. As of April 1 Canada is doing away with their pre-travel testing requirement, though I do believe you still need to complete the ArriveCan app form.
A Westjet host handed everyone a sanitary cloth to wipe down our seats/screens etc. I hope things had already been wiped down, but it was a nice touch. As it turned out, another family had misread their boarding passes and were sitting in our seats once we got on the plane. They moved and we were happy to have our wipes.
At this time all air passengers have to wear masks on the airplane (and in the airport) unless actively eating or drinking. I know there is a push to get rid of the mask mandate for air travel. Personally I was happy for the mask requirements. But note to self, you may want to pre-wear your mask so it’s a little more comfortable for the long flight.
How was our trip?
Our trip was great. We were checking out three universities for our son who will need to apply this coming fall. We also got to see family. For the kids, it had been 2+ years since they had been off Maui, so that was special.
Do you know what happened since our last trip? Besides Covid? They grew! Priority number one on arrival in Toronto was to buy winter jackets. We’d picked up long jeans on Maui, but winter jackets were not to be had. On a side note, my leather shoes destroyed my heels. I ended up wearing cloth Nike shoes with the backs down for the remainder of the trip. My feet prefer Hawaii!
I also wrote a blog on our Canadian re-entry experience. Check it out here!