Whitehouse Centers for Disease Control and Prevention US Department of Homeland Security - Federal Emergency Management Agency

Traveling

State or local governments may have issued orders or provided additional guidance.

Check public health departments for detailed information.

The COVID-19 outbreak in United States is a rapidly evolving situation. The status of the outbreak varies by location and state and local authorities are updating their guidance frequently. The White House’s Opening Up America Again plan means some parts of the country may have different guidance than other areas. Check with the state or local authorities where you are, along your route, and at your planned destination to learn about local circumstances and any restrictions that may be in place.

Depending on your unique circumstances, you may choose to delay or cancel your plans. If you do decide to travel, be sure to take steps to help prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases during travel. For the most up-to-date COVID-19 travel information, visit CDC COVID-19 Travel page.

Last updated May 01, 2020
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Preventionlinks to external site

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, CDC recommends that everyone wear a mask over their nose and mouth when in the community setting, including during travel if they must travel. This as an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not instead of) social distancing, frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions. A mask is not intended to protect the wearer but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important in the event that someone is infected but does not have symptoms. Medical masks and N-95 respirators are still reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Last updated April 03, 2020
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Preventionlinks to external site

At this time, travel restrictions and entry screening apply only to travelers arriving from some countries or regions with widespread ongoing spread of COVID-19. [Note: US policies are subject to change as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.]

If you are coming from a country or a region with widespread ongoing transmission of COVID-19 (Level 3 Travel Health Notice), you may be screened when you arrive in the United States. After you arrive home, take the following steps to protect yourself and others:

  1. Stay at home. Do not go to work, school, or leave your house for 14 days. Discuss your work situation with your employer.
  2. Monitor your health. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever (temperature of 100.4°F/38°C or higher). Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  3. Practice social distancing within the home. Avoid contact with other people for the 14 days. Maintain distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from family members and others in the home when possible.

If you are coming from a country with ongoing community transmission (Level 2 Travel Health Notice), take the following steps to protect yourself and others:

  1. Monitor your health. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever (temperature of 100.4°F/38°C or higher). Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  2. Practice social distancing. Stay out of crowded places and avoid group gatherings. Do not go to shopping malls or to the movies. Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters). Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during this time.

Check CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Travel webpage to find the current travel health notice level for your international travel.

Last updated March 27, 2020
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Preventionlinks to external site

Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily. Although the risk of infection on an airplane is low, try to avoid contact with sick passengers and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

For more information: Exposure Risk During Travel

Last updated March 27, 2020
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Preventionlinks to external site

Under current federal regulations, pilots must report all illnesses and deaths to CDC before arriving to a US destination. According to CDC disease protocols, if a sick traveler is considered to be a public health risk, CDC works with local and state health departments and international public health agencies to contact passengers and crew exposed to that sick traveler.

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: Contact Investigation

Last updated March 27, 2020
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Preventionlinks to external site

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented changes to the security screening process that reduce the potential for cross-contamination at the security checkpoint in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. TSA has already begun implementation of these changes – with more to be implemented at airport checkpoints nationwide by mid-June.

As procedure changes begin to rollout in the coming weeks, travelers should expect to:

  • Keep possession of their boarding passes. Instead of handing their boarding pass to a TSA officer at the travel document podium, travelers should now place their boarding pass (paper or electronic) on the boarding pass reader themselves. After scanning, travelers should hold their boarding pass toward the TSA officer to allow the officer to visually inspect it. This change reduces the TSA officer’s need to touch a passenger’s boarding pass thus reducing potential for cross-contamination.

  • Separate food for X-ray screening. Passengers should place their carry-on food items into a clear plastic bag and place that bag into a bin. Food items often trigger an alarm during the screening process; separating the food from the carry-on bag lessens the likelihood that a TSA officer will need to open the carry-on bag and remove the food items for a closer inspection. This requirement allows social distancing, reduces the TSA officer’s need to touch a person’s container of food and reduces potential for cross-contamination. TSA Precheck members do not need to remove items from their bags.

  • Pack smart. Passengers should take extra care to ensure that they do not have any prohibited items, such as liquids, gels or aerosols in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces, in their carry-on bags (water bottles, shampoo). In response to COVID-19, TSA is allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags. Passengers are required to remove the hand sanitizer from the carry-on bag before being submitted for X-ray screening. If a bag is found to contain a prohibited item, passengers may be directed to return to the divestiture table outside of security with their carry-on bags to remove the item and dispose of the item. The passenger may also be directed back outside of security to remove items that should have originally been divested (such as laptops, liquids, gels, and aerosols, and large electronics) and resubmit their property for X-ray screening. By resolving alarms in this manner, TSA officers will need to touch the contents inside a carry-on bag much less frequently, reducing the potential for cross-contamination.

  • Practice social distancing. Passengers should allow for social distancing to reduce direct contact between employees and travelers whenever possible without compromising security. Noticeable adjustments leading up to the security checkpoint include, increasing the distance between individuals as they enter the security checkpoint, placing visual reminders of appropriate spacing on checkpoint floors and staggering the use of lanes where feasible. No two airports are alike, so this could look a little different at each airport.

  • Wear facial protection. TSA officers at checkpoints are now using facial protection. Travelers are encouraged to wear face protection to the checkpoint as well. Please note, however, passengers may need to adjust it during the screening process. Travelers are also encouraged to remove items such as belts, and items from their pockets, like wallets, keys and phones, and put them directly into their carry-on bags instead of into the bins to reduce touch-points during the screening process.

Travelers who have not flown since the pandemic are also likely to notice some other changes. They include:

  • Reduced security lane usage due to the reduction in passenger volume.
  • All TSA officers at checkpoints wearing masks and gloves.
  • TSA officers optionally wearing eye protection and clear plastic face shields at some locations.
  • TSA officers will continue the practice of changing gloves after each pat-down.
  • Plastic shielding installed at many travel document checking podiums, divest, bag search and drop off locations.
  • TSA officers practicing social distancing.
  • Routine cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces in the screening checkpoint area.

Last updated June 05, 2020
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Securitylinks to external site

Entry to the U.S. has been suspended for nearly all foreign nationals who have been in:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Vatican City

Permanent residents of the United States, certain family members, and other individuals who meet specified exceptions who have been in one of the countries listed above in the past 14 days will be allowed to enter the United States through one of the designated U.S. airports.

After arriving to the United States from one of these countries, CDC recommends that travelers stay home and monitor their health for 14 days.

Last updated May 29, 2020
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Securitylinks to external site

Yes. American citizens, legal permanent residents, and their immediate families can return to the United States.

American citizens, legal permanent residents, and their immediate families who are returning home to the U.S. must travel through one of designated U.S. airports upon arrival, submit to an enhanced entry screening, and self-quarantine for 14 days once they reach their final destination.

Last updated May 29, 2020
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Securitylinks to external site

CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential international travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some health care systems are overwhelmed and there may be limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas. Many countries are implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice. Airlines have cancelled many international flights and in-country travel may be unpredictable. If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be disrupted, and you may have to remain outside the United States for an indefinite length of time.

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

Last updated April 30, 2020
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Preventionlinks to external site

CDC recommends that all travelers defer all cruise ship travel worldwide. 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.

Last updated March 27, 2020
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Preventionlinks to external site

In order to limit the further spread of coronavirus, the U.S. has reached agreements with both Canada and Mexico to limit all non-essential travel across borders.

“Non-essential” travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.

Supply chains, including trucking, will not be impacted by this measure. Those who cross the land border every day to do essential work or for other urgent or essential reasons, and that travel will not be impacted.

Limits on non-essential travel were first implemented on March 21, 2020 and have been periodically reevaluated and extended by the United States, Canada, and Mexico. On August 14, 2020, the measures were again extended to September 21, 2020.

Last updated August 31, 2020
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Securitylinks to external site

CDC does not require an autopsy before the remains of a person who died overseas are returned to the United States. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the death, some countries may require an autopsy. Sources of support to the family include the local consulate or embassy, travel insurance provider, tour operator, faith-based and aid organizations, and the deceased’s employer. There likely will need to be an official identification of the body and official documents issued by the consular office.

CDC requirements for importing human remains depend upon if the body has been embalmed, cremated, or if the person died from a quarantinable communicable disease.

At this time, COVID-19 is a quarantinable communicable disease in the United States. The remains must meet the standards for importation found in 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part 71.55 and may be cleared, released, and authorized for entry into the United States only under the following conditions:

  • The remains are cremated; OR
  • The remains are properly embalmed and placed in a hermetically sealed casket; OR
  • The remains are accompanied by a permit issued by the CDC Director. The CDC permit (if applicable) must accompany the human remains at all times during shipment.
    • Permits for the importation of the remains of a person known or suspected to have died from a quarantinable communicable disease may be obtained through the CDC Division of Global Migration and Quarantine by calling the CDC Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100 or emailing dgmqpolicyoffice@cdc.gov.

    Please see CDC’s guidance for additional information.

Last updated June 25, 2020
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Preventionlinks to external site

When a US citizen dies outside the United States, the deceased person’s next of kin or legal representative should notify US consular officials at the Department of State. Consular personnel are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide assistance to US citizens for overseas emergencies. If a family member, domestic partner, or legal representative is in a different country from the deceased person, he or she should call the Department of State’s Office of Overseas Citizens Services in Washington, DC, from 8 am to 5 pm Eastern time, Monday through Friday, at 888-407-4747 (toll-free) or 202-501-4444. For emergency assistance after working hours or on weekends and holidays, call the Department of State switchboard at 202-647-4000 and ask to speak with the Overseas Citizens Services duty officer. In addition, the US embassy closest to or in the country where the US citizen died can provide assistance.

Last updated May 06, 2020
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Preventionlinks to external site

Currently, all international travelers arriving into the US should stay home for 14 days after their arrival. At home, they are expected to monitor their health and practice social distancing. To protect the health of others, these travelers should not to go to work or school for 14 days.

Last updated March 27, 2020
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Preventionlinks to external site

Yes. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf has indicated the new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is October 1, 2021.

Last updated March 26, 2020
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Securitylinks to external site

To help prevent the introduction of Coronavirus into our border facilities and into our country, illegal aliens subject to the order will not be held by CBP, and instead will immediately be turned away from ports of entry.

Those encountered between ports of entry after illegally crossing the border similarly will not be held for processing and instead, will immediately be returned to their country of last transit.

These aliens are processed in stations designed for short-term processing, where distancing is not a viable option, creating serious danger of an outbreak.

Last updated March 31, 2020
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Securitylinks to external site

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

Last updated March 27, 2020
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Preventionlinks to external site