Domestic Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic (1/2)

COVID-19 Alert: The Number of Cases is Increasing

There is an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across all the states of the United States. Because of the cold weather, people tend to be indoors more. And as the holidays approach, takes steps against the quick spread of COVID-19. Many things you should do to avoid getting the virus such as stay at least 6 feet apart from others, don't be in crowds, and often wash your hands. The more steps you take, the more you protect yourself against COVID-19. Let's take a look at cases in the U.S. and cases by the state here on CDC's COVID Data Tracker.

Before You Travel During The COVID-19 

Traveling can lead to a high chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. Holding on and staying at home is the best way to protect yourself and the community from COVID-19.

However, if you want to travel, we list here several essential questions that you must ask yourself and your companies beforehand. This list of questions can help you decide what is good for you and your loved ones.

  • Are you, someone in your house, or someone you will be visiting at increased risk of getting sick from COVID-19?
    If you get infected you can spread the virus to your loved ones through traveling and when you return, even if you don’t have symptoms. If your house has one or more people at high risk for some illness, all family members should act as if they, themselves are at high risk. Here, let's explore the way to protect yourself and others.
  • Are cases high or grow up in your community or your place? The more cases in your community of origin or at your place, the more likely you are to get and spread COVID-19 because of your door-to-door travel.
  • Are hospitals in your community or your place overwhelmed with patients who get COVID-19? To explore more, check state and local public health department websites.
  • Does your home or place around have requirements or restrictions for travelers? Check these state and local requirements before you consider traveling.
  • During the 14 days before traveling, have you or those you are visiting had close contact with strangers they don’t live with?
    The following activities can put you at higher risk of getting COVID-19:
    • Attending a large social gathering like a wedding, funeral, or party.
    • Taking part in a mass gathering like a sporting event, concert, or parade.
    • Being in crowds such as in restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters.
    • Being on trains, buses, airports, or using public transportation.
    • Traveling on a cruise ship or riverboat.
  • Do your plans adding traveling by bus, train, or air which might make staying 6 feet apart hard to do?
  • Are you traveling with strangers who don’t live with you?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” you should consider making other plans, such as holding your travel and waiting for another time. 

travel during covid-19

If You Decide to Travel

Traveling can lead to a high chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. Holding on and staying at home is the best way to protect yourself and the community from COVID-19. If you do decide to travel, make sure to take these steps during your travel to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:

Consider testing

Testing could improve traveler safety.

The best thing to keep safe is to stay at home. However, if you do decide to go travel, testing is necessary for you to get so more safely. You and your companions (including children) may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still get and 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 when you return after traveling. Testing does not eliminate all risk, but it can make travel safer.

  • If you are traveling, consider getting a viral test 1-3 days right before your trip. Also consider getting tested with a viral test 3-5 days when you return after your trip and decrease non-essential activities for a full 7 days after travel, even if your test result is negative. In case you don’t get tested, consider reducing non-essential activities for 10 days after your trip.
  • Keep a copy of your test results with you during travel; they may ask you for them.
  • Do not travel if you test positive. In that case, you must immediately isolate yourself, and follow public health recommendations.
  • You may have been exposed to COVID-19 during your trips. You and your travel companions (including children) may pose a risk to your family, friends, lovers, and community. No matter where you traveled or what you did during your trip, take these actions to protect yourself and others from getting COVID-19 for 14 days after travel:
    • Stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from people who did not travel with you, particularly in the crowd. It’s essential to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors.
    • Wear a mask to cover your nose and mouth when you are in shared spaces outside of your home, even when using public transportation.
    • In case there is someone 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 make use of hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid being around people who are at high risk for severe illness.
    • Watch your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19, and take your temperature in case you feel sick.