Travel: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
CDC is reviewing this page to align with updated guidance.
As of 12:01AM ET on June 12, 2022, CDC will no longer require air passengers traveling from a foreign country to the United States to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board their flight. For more information, see Rescission: Requirement for Negative Pre-Departure COVID-19 Test Result or Documentation of Recovery from COVID-19 for all Airline or Other Aircraft Passengers Arriving into the United States from Any Foreign Country.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation and CDC guidance is updated frequently.
Travel is any trip that involves leaving your community. Transportation within your community for errands and work transit is not considered travel.
Yes, people who have recovered from COVID-19 can safely travel if they have met criteria to travel.
Travelers who have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days do not need to get tested before or after travel. If they develop COVID-19 symptoms before, during or after travel, they should isolate and consult with a healthcare provider for testing recommendations.
CDC recommends all travelers to be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, which includes all doses in the primary series and all boosters recommended for you, when eligible.
If you are traveling internationally, some countries may require a recent COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot to enter. Check the travel requirements at your destination ahead of time so you can plan accordingly. For more international travel recommendations, see International Travel | CDC.
CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older and boosters for everyone 5 years and older, if eligible.
CDC recommends getting a second COVID-19 booster at least 4 months after your first booster if you are:
- age 50 or older, or
- age 12 or older and have a weakened immune system. [For more information, see COVID-19 Vaccines for People who are Moderately or Severely Immunocompromised]
You are considered up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines immediately after getting your booster shot, meaning the added protection starts right away. Plan ahead; side effects after the second booster can be more intense than the ones experienced after the first booster so you may want to get your booster dose a few days before you travel. These side effects are normal signs that the body is building protection and should go away within a few days.
You can get your COVID-19 booster at the same time as other vaccines, including flu or travel vaccines.
- If you have COVID-19, you should wait to receive your booster until after you’ve recovered and completed your isolation period.
- If you recently had COVID-19, you may consider delaying your booster by 3 months from when your symptoms started or, if you had no symptoms, when you first received a positive COVID-19 test.
Talk to a doctor or nurse about the right timing for you, given your history with COVID-19 and plans for travel.
Use this tool to determine when or if you (or your child) can get one or more COVID-19 boosters. Find Out When to Get a Booster
Maintaining physical distance to prevent COVID-19 is often difficult on public transportation. People may not be able to avoid crowding on airplanes, trains, or buses.
Protect yourself from COVID-19 by staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines and by wearing a mask on public transportation. Everyone aged 2 years or older, regardless of vaccination status, should properly wear a well-fitting mask or respirator in indoor areas of public transportation (such as airplanes, trains, buses, ferries) and transportation hubs (such as airports, stations, and seaports), especially in locations that are crowded or poorly ventilated such as airport jetways.
All travelers should take steps to protect themselves and others.
CDC does not reimburse or help travelers get reimbursements for travel expenses as a result of canceled or delayed travel because of vaccination requirements for air passengers flying to the United States or other issues related to COVID-19. While some companies may base their policies on CDC’s travel recommendations or requirements, each company establishes its own refund policies.
In some cases, trip cancellation insurance can protect your financial investment in a trip if you need to change your itinerary in the event of an international outbreak. Visit CDC’s Travelers’ Health website if you’d like to learn more about travel insurance, including trip cancellation insurance.
CDC reviews data reported to the World Health Organization daily to determine a destination’s COVID-19 Travel Health Notice level and makes appropriate level changes on a routine basis. There are a few factors that CDC considers when determining the level of a destination. To find out more about the COVID-19 Travel Health Notice levels, visit How CDC Determines the Level for COVID-19 Travel Health Notices.
For additional FAQs on the vaccine requirement before air travel to the U.S., visit Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers.
Air passengers are required to provide the following contact information, to the extent that it exists, within 72 hours before their flight’s departure: full name (as it appears on their passport), address while in the United States, primary contact phone number, secondary or emergency contact phone number, and email address.
Passengers must also:
- Acknowledge that the obligation to provide complete and accurate information is a U.S. government requirement and that failure to provide complete and accurate information may result in criminal penalties.
- Confirm the information they provided is complete and accurate.
Under current federal regulations, pilots must report all illnesses and deaths to CDC before arriving to a U.S. destination. According to CDC protocols, if a sick traveler has a contagious disease that is a risk to others on board the airplane, CDC works with local and state health departments and international public health agencies to contact exposed passengers and crew.
Be sure to give the airline your current contact information when booking your ticket so you can be notified if you are exposed to a sick traveler on a flight.
For more information, see the CDC webpage Protecting Travelers’ Health from Airport to Community: Investigating Contagious Diseases on Flights.
For information about COVID-19 requirements for land travel, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Fact Sheet: Guidance for Travelers to Enter the U.S. at Land Ports of Entry and Ferry Terminals.
Yes. The chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is high because the virus spreads easily between people in close quarters on board ships. For this reason, CDC recommends the following groups of people avoid traveling on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide:
- People who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.
- People with an increased risk of severe illness, regardless of vaccination status, including
- Older adults and adults of any age with serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, chronic lung disease, and diabetes.
- Children with underlying medical conditions.