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Passport and COVID vaccination card on wooden table
Grandbrothers | Adobe Stock

Do You Need to Be Vaccinated to Fly?

SmarterTravel

You’re packed and ready to go, but before you print out that plane ticket, you might be wondering “Do I need to be vaccinated to fly?” The answer is: It depends. Whether or not you need to be fully vaccinated in order to board a plane depends on where you’re headed. 

Regardless of the official rules, remember that the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) recommends that all flyers be fully vaccinated before traveling. 

Domestic Flights Within the US

Man showing certification of COVID vaccine on cellphone to a gate agent at airport
Jacob Lund | Adobe Stock

US citizens traveling on a domestic flight within the country do not need to be vaccinated or show proof of vaccination to fly.

International Flights From the US

If you’re flying from the US to a foreign country, vaccination requirements will vary based upon your destination. 

For example, if you’re flying to Canada, you will need to show proof of vaccination before you board your flight. 

To find out the vaccination rules for your destination, look up the country-specific page on the US State Department website. The “entry, exit, and visa requirements” section will have the information that you need. 

Screenshot of Entry, Exit, and Visa Requirements from the State Department
US State Department

What it means to be fully vaccinated can also vary by country. Many European countries will not consider travelers to be fully vaccinated if more than 270 days have passed since the last dose of their initial vaccination series, meaning that most travelers must have received a booster shot to be qualified as fully vaccinated. 

International Flights to the US

Person presenting their COVID Health Passport to a gate agent at the airport
Rido | Adobe Stock

All COVID-19 entry requirements for US citizens returning to the US have been dropped. US citizens do not need to be vaccinated for a flight to the US and will not be asked to show proof of vaccination. 

However, foreign national air travelers to the United States must be fully vaccinated in order to enter the country. Non-citizens must show proof of vaccination status before boarding a plane to the US. There are limited exemptions to this policy, including for children, which can be found here.

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