The CDC recommends you stay home as much as possible, especially if your trip is not essential, and practice social distancing, especially if you are at higher risk of severe illness. Don't travel if you are sick, and don't travel with someone else who is sick.
COVID-19 cases and deaths have been reported in all 50 states, and the situation is constantly changing. Because travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick.
Follow state and local travel restrictions. For up-to-date information and travel guidance, check the state or local health departments where you are, along your route, and at your planned destination. It is possible a state or local government could implement travel restrictions while you are traveling; these include stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, mandated quarantines upon arrival, or even state border closures. Plan to keep checking for updates as you travel.
Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. We don't know if one type of travel is safer than others; however, airports, bus stations, train stations and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces. The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel, which includes avoiding plane trips and embarking on cruise ships in particular. Planes and cruise ships are also places where it can be hard to social distance (keep six feet apart from other people). Consider the following risks for getting or spreading COVID-19, depending on how you travel:
- Air travel: Air travel requires spending time in security lines and airport terminals, which can bring you in close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces. Most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes. However, social distancing is difficult on crowded flights, and you may have to sit near others (within six feet), sometimes for hours. This may increase your risk for exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19
- Bus or train travel: Traveling on buses and trains for any length of time can involve sitting or standing within six feet of others
- Car travel: Making stops along the way for gas, food or bathroom breaks can put you and your traveling companions in close contact with other people and surfaces
- RV travel: You may have to stop less often for food or bathroom breaks, but RV travel typically means staying at RV parks overnight and getting gas and supplies at other public places. These stops may put you and those with you in the RV in close contact with others
The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential international travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some healthcare 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 noncitizens 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. For Travel Health Notice levels and travel guidance by country, the most current and comprehensive outline can be found here.