Slow the Spread of COVID-19 When You Travel Internationally  

Many travelers are concerned about the current COVID-19 outbreak and may be anxious about their upcoming international air travel. We understand your concerns and are taking the utmost care to ensure the health and safety of all those in flight and in their own communities. In addition, we ask that each of you play a part in our efforts to protect the public’s health.

Your safety is our top priority. Please follow CDC recommendations before, during, and after travel. 

Steps you can take before international travel

Decide whether you will travel. The COVID-19 situation, including the spread of new or concerning variants, differs from country to country. Even fully vaccinated travelers need to pay close attention to the situation at their destination before traveling.

Before you travel:

  • Get fully vaccinated. Find a vaccine.

  • Make sure you understand and follow all airline and destination requirements related to travel, testing, or quarantine, which may differ from U.S. requirements. If you do not follow your destination’s requirements, you may be denied entry and required to return to the United States.

  • All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated peopleare required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the United States.

Help us maintain open communication during COVID-19. Please share your current contact information with our airline when booking your ticket. This information allows us to notify you if you are exposed to a sick traveler on a flight. Under current federal regulations, pilots must report all illnesses and deaths on board aircraft to CDC before arriving at a US destination. Health departments also let CDC know if a person traveled on a plane while infectious.

Avoid traveling if you are sick. If you feel sick before travel, please stay home, except to get medical care. If you are sick, see additional steps you can take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Do not travel if you test positive for COVID-19; immediately isolate yourself and follow public health recommendations

Do not travel if you had close contact with a person with COVID-19 and are NOT fully vaccinated. Stay home and self-quarantine by separating yourself from others. If you are fully vaccinated or you tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 3 months and have fully recovered, you do not need to self-quarantine after close contact with a person with COVID-19 and can travel unless you have symptoms.                       

Postpone your travel if you are waiting for a COVID-19 viral test result. If your test comes back positive while you’re at your destination:

  • You will need to isolate yourself from others and postpone your return.

  • Your travel companions will need to self-quarantine and postpone their travel back home.

Steps you can take during international travel

Take these important steps to reduce your chances of getting sick during travel:

  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.

  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters apart (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you. It’s important to do this everywhere, both indoors and outdoors.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Steps you can take after international travel

Fully vaccinated travelers are less like to get and spread COVID-19. However, international travel poses additional risks and even fully vaccinated travelers are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new COVID-19 variants. You may feel well and not have symptoms, but you can still be infected and spread the virus to others. 

If you are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine or a vaccine authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization:

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel.

    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.

  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.

  • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

If you are NOT fully vaccinated:

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.

    • Even if you test negative, stay home and 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, stay home and 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.

  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.

  • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements. 

For more information, visit CDC’s webpage on After International Travel.

For more information on COVID-19 and ways to protect yourself and others, please visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Thank you for your care and attention to these public health measures that will help protect your health and the health of others. We appreciate your collaboration in the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.