CDC does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States. However, cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been reported in many states, and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease. Crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase chances of getting COVID-19, if there are other travelers with coronavirus infection. There are several things you should consider when deciding whether it is safe for you to travel.
Things to consider before travel:
- Is COVID-19 spreading in the area where you’re going?
If COVID-19 is spreading at your destination, but not where you live, you may be more likely to get infected if you travel there than if you stay home. If you have questions about your destination, you should check your destination’s local health department website for more information.
- Will you or your travel companion(s) be in close contact with others during your trip?
Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like coronavirus may increase in crowded settings, particularly closed-in settings with little air circulation. This may include settings such as conferences, public events (like concerts and sporting events), religious gatherings, public spaces (like movie theatres and shopping malls), and public transportation (like buses, metro, trains).
- Are you or your travel companion(s) more likely to get severe illness if you get COVID-19?
People at higher risk for severe disease are older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes). CDC recommends that travelers at higher risk for COVID-19 complications avoid all cruise travel and nonessential air travel.
- Do you have a plan for taking time off from work or school, in case you are told to stay home for 14 days for self-monitoring or if you get sick with COVID-19?
If you have close contact with someone with COVID-19 during travel, you may be asked to stay home to self-monitor and avoid contact with others for up to 14 days after travel. If you become sick with COVID-19, you may be unable to go to work or school until you’re considered noninfectious. You will be asked to avoid contact with others (including being in public places) during this period of infectiousness.
- Do you live with someone who is older or has a serious, chronic medical condition?
If you get sick with COVID-19 upon your return from travel, your household contacts may be at risk of infection. Household contacts who are older adults or persons of any age with severe chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- Is COVID-19 spreading where I live when I return from travel?
Consider the risk of passing COVID-19 to others during travel, particularly if you will be in close contact with people who are older adults or have severe chronic health condition These people are at higher risk of getting very sick. If your symptoms are mild or you don’t have a fever, you may not realize you are infectious.
Stay home for 14 days from the time you left an area with widespread, ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries) and practice social distancing.
Take these steps to monitor your health and practice social distancing:
- Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
- Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
- Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
- Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
- Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
Foreign nationals who have visited one of these countries in the past 14 days may not enter the United States:
- Europe (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City)
- United Kingdom
- Republic of Ireland
U.S. Students Abroad
The CDC recommends institutes of higher education (IHE) consider postponing or canceling upcoming student foreign exchange programs. In addition, CDC recommends IHE consider asking current program participants to return to their home country. Students abroad may face unpredictable circumstances, travel restrictions, and challenges in returning home or accessing health care while abroad.
Click the airline company to visit the webpage to get contact information.
American airlines are implementing a phased suspension of additional long-haul flights starting March 16 and through May 6. Cancellation fees waived.
Delta is making capacity reductions with a 70% pullback until demand begins to recover. Cancellation fees waived.
Alaska Airlines is waiving change or cancellation fees for tickets purchased on or before February 26, 2020 for travel through April 30, 2020; and tickets purchased between February 27 and March 31, 2020. If you purchased a nonrefundable ticket, you may change or cancel your trip and receive a refund or credit.
United Airlines is reducing their flights by 42% across the US and Canada, and by 85% internationally. Change and cancellation fees will be waived for travel from March 10 to April 30, 2020. If you book a flight between March 3 and March 31, 2020, you can change it for free over the next 12 months.
JetBlue will waive change and cancellation fees for customers traveling between March 10 and April 30, 2020 for all flights booked on or before March 10, 2020. Customers may rebook their flights through October 24, 2020.
Southwest is expecting flight cancellations, and will be offering free flight changes up to 60 days from original flights.
- ^ older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions (www.cdc.gov)
- ^ travelers at higher risk for COVID-19 complications (www.cdc.gov)
- ^ older adults or persons of any age with severe chronic medical conditions (www.cdc.gov)
- ^ older adults or have severe chronic health condition (www.cdc.gov)
- ^ institutes of higher education (IHE) consider postponing or canceling upcoming student foreign exchange programs (travel.state.gov)
- ^ American Airlines (www.aa.com)
- ^ Delta (www.delta.com)
- ^ Alaska Airlines (www.alaskaair.com)
- ^ United Airlines (www.united.com)
- ^ JetBlue (www.jetblue.com)
- ^ Southwest (www.southwest.com)
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