Travel: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Travel: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
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General

CDC recommends all travelers, both domestic and international, get a COVID-19 viral test 1-3 days before travel.

All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States. See Frequently Asked Questions for more information about this requirement.

Get Tested and Stay Home After Travel

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time. Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

If you must travel, take these steps during your trip to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:

  • If you are eligible, get fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Wait 2 weeks after getting your second vaccine dose to travel—it takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination.
  • Get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before you travel. Keep a copy of your test results with you during travel in case you are asked for them. Do NOT travel if you test positive.
  • Check travel restrictions before you go.
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public settings. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you. It’s important to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Do NOT travel if you were exposed to COVID-19, you are sick or you test positive for COVID-19. Learn when it is safe for you to travel. Don’t travel with someone who is sick.

Get Tested and Stay Home After Travel

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine  for a full 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

Also, take these actions after you return from travel to protect others from getting COVID-19:

  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you. It’s important to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public settings. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • If there are people in the household who did not travel with you, wear a mask and ask everyone in the household to wear masks in shared spaces inside your home for 14 days after travel.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness.
  • Watch your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19.

Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public settings. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Masks slow the spread of COVID-19 because they help keep people who are infected from spreading respiratory droplets to others when they cough, sneeze, or talk. Medical masks and N-95 respirators are for healthcare workers and other first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Some people shouldn’t wear masks:

  • Children younger than 2 years old
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing
  • Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without help

See CDC’s website What to Do If You Are Sick.

Yes. To reduce the risk of further spread of variant strains in the United States, people who have been vaccinated should still follow CDC’s travel recommendations and requirements before, during, and after travel. This includes all travel-related testing and quarantine recommendations and requirements, such as pre-travel and post-travel testing recommendations, the pre-departure testing requirement for international air passengers to the United States, and the recommended stay-at-home (self-quarantine) period after travel.

Fully vaccinated travelers should also follow all state, territorial, tribal, and local travel recommendations and requirements.

All international air passengers (aged 2 years or older) traveling to the U.S., regardless of vaccination or antibody status, are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19. Those departing from or traveling within the United States are also recommended to get tested before traveling.

All travelers, regardless of vaccination status, should get tested 3–5 days after travel and stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel, even if their test is negative. Travelers who don’t get tested should stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel. Travelers who test positive or develop symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate and follow public health recommendations.

Domestic Travel

Yes. Travel increases your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time. Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Traveling to visit family may be especially dangerous if you or your loved ones are at higher risk for severe illness and you may need to take extra precautions. For more considerations see the webpage Domestic Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Yes. Going camping at a time when much of the United States is experiencing community spread of COVID-19 can pose a risk to you if you come in close contact with others or share public facilities (like restrooms or picnic areas) at campsites or along the trails. Exposure may be especially unsafe if you are more likely to get very ill from COVID-19 and are planning to be in remote areas, without easy access to medical care. Also be aware that many local, state, and national public parks have been temporarily closed due to COVID-19. Follow these actions when visiting a park.

CDC does not require that domestic travelers undergo a mandatory federal quarantine, but CDC recommends you get tested AND stay home and self-quarantine after travel.

Get Tested and Stay Home After Travel

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine  for a full 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

Also, take these actions after you return from travel to protect others from getting COVID-19:

  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you. It’s important to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public settings. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • If there are people in the household who did not travel with you, wear a mask and ask everyone in the household to wear masks in shared spaces inside your home for 14 days after travel.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness.
  • Watch your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19.

International Travel

Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time. Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States. See Frequently Asked Questions about this requirement for more information.

CDC also recommends all travelers avoid all cruise ship travel worldwide.

Do NOT travel if you were exposed to COVID-19, you are sick or you test positive for COVID-19. Learn when it is safe for you to travel. Don’t travel with someone who is sick.

To check travel recommendations for a certain destination, see COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination.

Follow entry requirements or restrictions at your destination which might include testing, quarantine, and providing contact information. Check with your destination’s Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health or the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Informationexternal icon for details about entry requirements and restrictions for arriving travelers. If you test positive on arrival, you might be required to isolate. You might be prevented from returning to the United States as scheduled.

All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States. See Frequently Asked Questions about this requirement for more information.

Some countries are conducting exit screening for all passengers leaving their destination. Before being permitted to board a departing flight, you may have your temperature taken and be asked questions about your travel history and health.

Get Tested and Stay Home After Travel

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine  for a full 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

Also, take these actions after you return from travel to protect others from getting COVID-19:

  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you. It’s important to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public settings. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • If there are people in the household who did not travel with you, wear a mask and ask everyone in the household to wear masks in shared spaces inside your home for 14 days after travel.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness.
  • Watch your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19.

See CDC’s After You Travel webpage to learn what precautions you should take.

CDC reviews data reported to the World Health Organization daily to determine a destination’s COVID-19 Travel Health Notice level. 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.

These notices offer travel recommendations based on the level of COVID-19 in a destination. To learn more about COVID-19 travel recommendations for a specific destination, visit COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination.

Recommendations are updated weekly. 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 once a week. To find out more about the COVID-19 Travel Health Notice levels, visit How CDC Determines the Level for COVID-19 Travel Health Notices.

CDC does not require that international travelers undergo mandatory federal quarantine, but CDC recommends you get tested AND stay home and self-quarantine after travel.

Get Tested and Stay Home After Travel

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine  for a full 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

Also, take these actions after you return from travel to protect others from getting COVID-19:

  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you. It’s important to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public settings. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • If there are people in the household who did not travel with you, wear a mask and ask everyone in the household to wear masks in shared spaces inside your home for 14 days after travel.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness.
  • Watch your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19.

All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States. See Frequently Asked Questions about this requirement for more information.

Check with your destination’s Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health or the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Informationexternal icon for details about entry requirements and restrictions for arriving travelers.

Air or Cruise Travel

Yes. Air travel requires spending time in security lines and airport terminals, which can bring you in close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces. Most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes. However, social distancing is difficult on crowded flights, and you may have to sit near others (within 6 feet), sometimes for hours. This may increase your risk for exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.

Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.

Under current federal regulations, pilots must report all illnesses and deaths to CDC before arriving to a U.S. destination. According to CDC disease protocols, if a sick traveler is considered a risk to the public’s health, 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.

Yes. CDC recommends that all travelers avoid all cruise ship travel worldwide, including river boats. Recent reports of COVID-19 on cruise ships highlight the risk of infection to cruise ship passengers and crew. Like many other viruses, COVID-19 appears to spread more easily between people in close quarters aboard ships. At this time, cruise ship passenger operations remain suspended in U.S. waters under CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order.

For information about traveling in the United States: Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic