alert icon

On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the current outbreak of coronavirus disease, COVID-19. CDC will be updating our website and other CDC materials to reflect the updated name.

Travel: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Q: Should I cancel my trip to China?

A: Yes. CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China at this time. In addition, the US Department of State has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisoryexternal icon asking people to not travel to China due the COVID-19 outbreak. The travel recommendation and advisory are only for mainland China and do not apply to Hong Kong, Macau, or the island of Taiwan.

Stay up to date with CDC’s travel health notices related to this outbreak.

Q: Should I cancel my international travel because of novel coronavirus?

A: The COVID-19 outbreak has been concentrated in China, and CDC recommends avoiding all nonessential travel to China. For travel advice for other countries, please visit that country’s Destination Page or the Travel Health Notice website.

Q: How are travelers from China being screened when they enter the United States?

A: At this time, American citizens, lawful permanent residents, family (as specified in the Presidential Proclamation) who have been in China in the past 14 days will be allowed to enter the United States. Those travelers will be directed to one of 11 U.S. airports and will undergo health screening and be asked questions about their travel in China. Those travelers will have some level of restriction on their movement depending on their health and travel history. For more information about travelers from China being screened when they enter the United States, Travel: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers.

Q: Should passengers who were on the Westerdam Cruise Ship be monitored for COVID-19?

A: CDC is aware that an American passenger on the Westerdam tested positive for infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 in Malaysia and that two subsequent sequential tests on samples from that same person were negative. CDC is also aware that follow-up testing among more than 1,500 passengers from the Westerdam was all negative. At this time, CDC considers passengers from the Westerdam to be “low risk” for COVID-19 during the 14 days after their last exposure per the agency’s risk assessment guidance.  Given this level of risk, testing of Westerdam passengers for COVID-19 is not recommended unless additional exposures are identified to warrant testing.

Q: Is it safe to travel to countries, other than China, where COVID-19 cases have occurred?

A: The situation is evolving. Stay up to date with CDC’s travel health notices related to this outbreak. These notices will be updated as more information becomes available.

Q: What if I recently traveled to China and got sick?

A: If you were in China and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, within 14 days after you left, you should

  • Seek medical advice – Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Business Travel

Q: After returning from China, when can employees return to work?

A: Anyone who enters the United States after being in China during the past 14 days will have some level of restrictions on their movements. Travelers from Hubei will be in quarantine and not able to leave the quarantine facility. Travelers from other parts of China who do not have any symptoms are being asked to monitor their health and practice social distancing for 14 days. Social distancing means remaining out of public places where close contact with others may occur (e.g., shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums ), workplaces (unless the person works in an office space that allows distancing from others), schools and other classroom settings, and local public conveyances (e.g., bus, subway, taxi, ride share) for the duration of the potential incubation period unless presence in such locations is approved by the state or local health department. These restrictions are to be in effect for 14 days from the time the person was possibly exposed.

Q: What are other countries doing to manage the novel coronavirus (specifically Mexico and Canada)?

A: Canada has been following the outbreak since December 31 and has activated its Emergency Operations Center. Canada’s assessment of risk is evolving. For more information on Canada’s activities to manage novel coronavirus, please visit the Government of Canada’s webpage: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.htmlexternal icon

Mexico has activated protocols for travelers coming to Mexico and set up mechanisms to provide information on the disease. Mexico is using diagnostic tools to test cases. For more information on Mexico’s activities to manage novel coronavirus, please visit: https://www.gob.mx/salud/es/archivo/documentosexternal icon

 Q:Should businesses recommend any PPE during travel?

A: CDC does not recommend travelers wear masks to protect themselves from the new coronavirus. You may choose to wear a mask, but it is more important that you take the following steps.

We recommend that everyone follow everyday prevention practices:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning.
globe asia solid icon

CDC has additional information for travelers about coronavirus disease 2019 available online.