CDC Pandemic Travel Advisory
Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Recovery from COVID-19 for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States
If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get tested no more than 3 days before you travel by air into the United States (US) and show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight, or be prepared to show documentation of recovery (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).
On January 12, 2021, CDC announced an Order requiring all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country to get tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to present the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. Air passengers will also be required to confirm that the information they present is true in the form of an attestation. This Order is effective as of 12:01am EST (5:01am GMT) on January 26, 2021.
After You Travel
- Get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home to self-quarantine for 7 days after travel.
- Even if you test negative, stay home to 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, it’s safest to stay home to 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.
Always follow state and local recommendations or requirements related to travel.
Domestic Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Before You Consider Traveling
Travel can increase your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
If you are considering traveling, here are some important questions to ask yourself and your loved ones beforehand. These questions can help you decide what is best for you and your family.
- Are you, someone in your household, or someone you will be visiting at increased risk for getting very sick from COVID-19?
- If you get infected you can spread the virus to loved ones during travel and when you return, even if you don’t have symptoms. If your household includes one or more individuals at increased risk for severe illness, all family members should act as if they, themselves are at increased risk. Learn how to protect yourself and others.
- Are cases high or increasing in your community or your destination? The more cases in your community of origin or at your destination, the more likely you are to get and spread COVID-19 as a result of your door-to-door travel. Check Each State’s Cases in the Last 7 Days.
- Are hospitals in your community or your destination overwhelmed with patients who have COVID-19? To find out, check state and local public health department websites.
- Does your home or destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers? Check state and local requirements before you travel.
- During the 14 days before your travel, have you or those you are visiting had close contact with people they don’t live with?
The following activities can put you at higher risk for COVID-19:
- Going to a large social gathering like a wedding, funeral, or party.
- Attending a mass gathering like a sporting event, concert, or parade.
- Being in crowds like in restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters.
- Being on trains, buses, in airports, or using public transportation.
- Traveling on a cruise ship or river boat.
- Do your plans include traveling by bus, train, or air which might make staying 6 feet apart difficult?
- Are you traveling with people who don’t live with you?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” you should consider making other plans, such as delaying your travel.
If You Decide to Travel
Travel may increase your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. If you do decide to travel, be sure to take these steps during your trip to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:
- Check travel restrictions before you go.
- Get your flu shot before you travel.
- Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
- Know when to delay your travel. Do not travel if you or your travel companions are sick.
- Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when in public settings, including on public transportation and in transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
- Avoid close contact by staying at least 6 feet apart (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not from your travel group.
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
- Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Testing could improve traveler safety.
The safest thing to do is to stay home, but if you do decide to travel, testing can help you do so more safely. You and your travel companions (including children) may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to others in busy travel environments like in airports, and bus and train stations. You can also spread it to family, friends, and your community after travel. Testing does not eliminate all risk, but it can help make travel safer.
- If you are traveling, consider getting tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip. Also consider getting tested with a viral test 3-5 days after your trip and reduce non-essential activities for a full 7 days after travel, even if your test is negative. If you don’t get tested, consider reducing non-essential activities for 10 days after travel.
- Keep a copy of your test results with you during travel; you may be asked for them.
- Do not travel if you test positive; immediately isolate yourself, and follow public health recommendations.
You may have been exposed to COVID-19 on your travels. You and your travel companions (including children) may pose a risk to your family, friends, and community. Regardless of where you traveled or what you did during your trip, take these actions to protect others from getting COVID-19 for 14 days after travel:
- Stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you, particularly in crowded areas. It’s important to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors.
- Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when you are in shared spaces outside of your home, including when using public transportation.
- 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.
- 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, and take your temperature if you feel sick.