Just like the question asks, can I re-enter the USA without a Covid test if I've had the vaccine? Or will this be up to the airline to check? If so, it's American Airlines.

Any anecdotal experience or online reference?

I can't seem to find anything.

I am a US Citizen if that matters.

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    OK this is off topic but having a vaccination does not mean that you can't get COVID-19 it just means you are a lot less likely to and even if you do you are unlikely to need to go to hospital
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 14:41
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    @mmmmmm Having a test also doesn't mean that you don't have COVID-19 upon arrival, it just means that with some high degree of probability you didn't have it at the exact moment you did the test. It's hard to say what is more likely - that you caught the virus in the 10-20 days before arrival in spite of vaccination (approx the period that it remains infectuous), or that you caught the virus in the 2-3 days before arrival (the period after the test) with zero vaccination.
    – JBentley
    Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 14:57
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    Those are some good points. The key is to still be safe even if you've had the vaccine. Still stay away from people and help prevent the spread. Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 15:09
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    They don't currently require a Covid test to enter the US by land
    – Midavalo
    Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 23:00
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    The vaccine also does not protect immediately. Read the literature. You can't walk out of the clinic and into the nightclub. It reduces your symptoms, but you can still get and spread it. So masks + social distancing is still required. Commented Mar 28, 2021 at 17:18

2 Answers 2


Currently, no.

You can see the requirements on the site American Airlines has arranged. A negative test result is still required.

The CDC's site directly addresses this issue:

What if I have had a COVID-19 vaccine or have tested positive for antibodies? Do I still need a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19?

Yes, at this time all air passengers traveling to the US, regardless of vaccination or antibody status, are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery.

Given the variety of vaccines available around the world, uncertainty about their effectiveness in preventing transmission, the difficulties around various proposed "vaccine passport" schemes, uncertainty about vaccine efficacy and protection against variants, and so on, it wouldn't surprise me if this remained the case for some time.

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    Man, I looked all over their site. Thanks for the info! Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 0:23
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    Let's remember that people lied about being infected so they could fly; those are the same people that would lie about having received the vaccine to avoid paying for a test... Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 15:27
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    @MatthieuM. Obviously a vaccination certificate is required wherever such an exemption applies.
    – Crazydre
    Commented Mar 28, 2021 at 18:25
  • @MatthieuM. you have to pay for a test? What third world country do you live in?
    – traktor
    Commented Mar 28, 2021 at 23:54
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    @traktor Some places treat tests for the purpose of travel differently than other types of tests. Why should a government pay to test someone, who may not be a citizen or resident, who needs the test solely to travel to the US? If they need the test because they feel unwell and don't want to spread COVID, there's a strong public health reason to make that free and easy, but if the test is solely to comply with a travel requirement, it doesn't seem obviously unreasonable for it to be the traveler's responsibility. Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 1:54

Typically for all countries the standard way to check is via IATA -> US, which mentions a few exceptions where the COVID-19 test is not required:

  1. Passengers entering or transiting through the USA must have a medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) viral antigen, NAAT, RT-LAMP, RT-PCR or TMA test result. The test must have been taken at most 3 days before departure from the first embarkation point. Passengers details (e.g., name and date of birth) in the certificate must match those stated in the passport or other travel document; and the test result must specify "negative" or "not detected". If marked "invalid" it is not accepted.

This does not apply to:

  • passengers younger than 2 years;
  • US military personnel;
  • passengers with a medical certificate with a positive Coronavirus (COVID-19) test result issued at most 90 days before departure from the first embarkation point; and a letter issued by a health authority stating that the passenger has been cleared for travel. The test result must specify "positive" or "detected", if marked "invalid" it is not accepted.

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