COVID-19 Travel Guidance from CDC & DPH

COVID-19 Travel Guidance from CDC & DPH

Considerations for Travel

Airports, bus stations, train stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and/or on surfaces. These are  also may be places where it can be particularly hard to physically distance. In general, the longer you are around a person with COVID-19, the more likely you are to get infected.

If you must travel, we recommend the following:

Before You Go

  • Check your destination, current travel restrictions, and COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination.

  • Read Johns Hopkins’ article Innovative Holiday & Winter Gatherings in the Time of COVID-19 for tips on how to connect this holiday season in innovative and safe ways.
  • If you are sick or symptomatic, do not travel and stay home.

  • Bring a mask to wear in public settings and when around people who do not live in your household.

  • Practice physical distancing at all times by staying at least 6 feet away from others.

  • If you are planning to spend time in a hotel and/or resort, call ahead to ask what COVID-19 safety guidelines and prevention strategies are being followed before booking your stay.

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Pack hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and make sure it is easily accessible at all times.

  • Bring enough of your medicine to last you for the entire trip.

  • Pack food and water in the event that restaurants and stores are closed, or if drive-thru, take-out, and outdoor-dining options aren’t available.

Air, Bus, or Train Travel

  • Due to the time spent in security lines and terminals, you may come into contact with individuals carrying the COVID-19 virus, along with frequently touched surfaces. 

  • Most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of the air circulation and filtration systems on airplanes. 

  • Physical distancing may be difficult, or impossible, on crowded flights, trains or buses. Sitting within 6 feet of others, sometimes for hours, may increase your risk of getting COVID-19.

  • Consider how you get to and from the airport; public transportation and ridesharing may increase your chances of being exposed to the virus.

Car Travel

  • Mixing group members in cars is not recommended

  • Making stops along the way for gas, food, or bathroom breaks can put you and your traveling companions in close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces.

  • If you need to stop for gas, use disinfecting wipes on the handles and buttons at the pump before you touch them.After fueling, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. 

  • When you arrive at your destination, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Dining at a Restaurant

  • Check the restaurant’s website and social media and see what COVID-19 safety guidelines and prevention strategies are being followed.

  • Make sure you call the restaurant and ask if all staff are wearing masks while at work.

  • Ask about options for self-parking to remove the need for a valet service.

  • Wear a mask as much as possible when not eating and maintain proper physical distance if you are dining with others who don’t live with you.

  • When possible, sit outside at tables spaced at least 6 feet apart.

  • When possible, choose food and drink options that are not self-serve to limit the use of shared serving utensils, handles, buttons, or touchscreens.

Hotel Lodging

  • Use options for online reservation and check-in, mobile room key, and contactless payment.

  • Check the hotel’s COVID-19 safety guidelines and prevention strategies before you go (i.e. requiring masks, plexiglass barriers at check-in counters, and physical distancing signs in the lobby).

  • Ask if the hotel has updated policies about cleaning and disinfecting or removing frequently touched surfaces and items (such as pens, room keys, tables, phones, doorknobs, light switches, elevator buttons, water fountains, ATMs/card payment stations, business center computers and printers, ice/vending machines, and remote controls).

  • If you are considering cleaning your travel lodgings, see CDC’s guidance on how to clean and disinfect.

Check Travel Restrictions

  • Please check and adhere to these state, territorial, and local travel restrictions including testing requirements, stay-at-home orders, and quarantine requirements upon arrival. 

  • Stay up-to-date on information and travel guidance, check the state, territorial, tribal, and local health department where you are, along your route, and where you are going.

  • Prepare to be flexible during your trip as restrictions and policies may change during your travel.

  • If traveling internationally or across international borders, check with the destination’s Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health or US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information page for details about entry requirements and restrictions for arriving travelers, such as mandatory testing or quarantine. 

  • Local policies at your destination may require you to be tested for COVID-19 before you are allowed to enter the country. 

  • If you test positive on arrival, you may be required to isolate for a period of time.

  • You may be prevented from returning to the United States.

After You Travel

  • You may have been exposed to COVID-19 during your travels. 

  • You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still be contagious even if asymptomatic.

  • Wear a mask when outside of your home, keeping the nose and mouth properly covered.

  • Do not come to school if you feel sick, have a temperature, experience COVID-19 like symptoms, or a travel companion has tested positive and/or feels sick.

High Risk Activities & Situations that Increase Risk of Exposure to COVID-19

  • Being in an area that is experiencing high levels of COVID-19, including destinations with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice. You can check the Travel Health Notices for recommendations for places you have traveled, including foreign countries and U.S. territories. You also can check states, counties, and cities to determine if specific areas are experiencing high levels of COVID-19.

  • Going to large social gatherings like a wedding, funeral, or party.

  • Attending a mass gathering like a sporting event, concert, or parade.

  • Being in crowds including in restaurants, bars, airports, bus and train stations, or movie theaters.

  • Traveling on a cruise ship or river boat.

  • If you know that you were exposed to someone with COVID-19, postpone further travel.