Travel Guidelines During COVID-19 Pandemic

Travel Guidelines During COVID-19 OutBreak
CDC Recommends we follow strict international, domestic, and local travel restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Check federal and state government websites for “Shelter In Place” mandates and Travel Guidelines.


What are the high-risk areas?

International Travel (as of 4/3/2020) According to the CDC, there is widespread, ongoing transmission of novel coronavirus worldwide. CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential international travel. If you have traveled anywhere internationally in the past 14 days stay home from the time of your return. Also, monitor your health for fever, cough or shortness of breath, practice social distancing, and avoid public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares. (See Global COVID-19 Pandemic Notice). 


High-Risk Areas* Historical Tracking (Level 3, according to the CDC)

  • As of 3/9/2020, According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), countries determined to be high-risk are China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy. 
  • As of 3/9/2020, anyone embarking on a cruise ship will be required to follow the 14-day quarantine protocol upon his or her return to the United States, regardless of destination country. 
  • As of 3/11/2020, the CDC has added Europe to the high-risk area list. Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland 
  • As of 3/11/2020 Japan and Hong Kong have been removed 
  • As of 3/11/2020, the CDC recommends that if you spent time in the specified countries during the past 14 days, stay home for 14 days from the time you return from travel, monitor your health and practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible. 
  • As of 3/14/2020, The CDC has added United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) and Ireland to the high-risk list. 
  • As of 3/19/2020, the CDC has added Malaysia to the high-risk area list. 
  • As of 3/23/2020, the CDC has added Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Israel, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey 
  • As of 3/31/2020, CDC declared travel to all countries as travel high risk 


Domestic Travel

CDC guidance recommends checking the local health department website of your travel destination prior to travel as all states have COVID-19 cases, 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. If the location you are traveling to is showing COVID-19 spread, or if you or your travel companion(s) will be in close contact with others on your trip, consider the following: 

  • if you or someone you live with is at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 (older adults, those with chronic medical conditions) 
  • if COVID-19 is spreading where you live upon your return 

On 3/28/2020, the CDC urged residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days (does not apply to critical infrastructure industries including health professionals).

For current local/state travel restrictions check specific state government websites.


I was planning on going to a high-risk area* next week. Should I go?

No. At this time, CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to high-risk areas due to the coronavirus outbreak. Additional restrictions and cancellations of events may occur, and there is limited access to adequate health care in affected areas. 


I was planning on going on a cruise. Should I go?

CDC recommends all travelers, particularly those with underlying health issues, defer all cruise ship travel worldwide, regardless of destination country. Sustained community spread of respiratory illness caused by COVID-19 have been reported in many countries. 

Cruise ship passengers are at increased risk of person-to-person spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues should avoid situations that put them at increased risk for more severe disease. This entails avoiding crowded places, avoiding nonessential travel such as long plane trips, and especially avoiding embarking on cruise ships. 


When does self-quarantine begin?

If you must self-quarantine after travel, the 14-day period begins the day you arrive in the U.S. 


After returning from a high-risk area, when can employees return to work?

If you spent time in any of the high-risk areas during the last 14 days, stay home for 14 days beginning on the day you return from your trip, self-monitor your health, and practice social distancing. 


A member of my family just returned from a trip to one of the countries identified as high risk. Am I also under the quarantine obligation?

No, as long as you are symptom free. Contact your health care provider if you have mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of cough, shortness of breath or fever (may or may not be present), and continue to practice social distancing, good hygiene and good cough and sneezing etiquette. 



Important COVID-19 Resources & Links


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