Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.
If you are considering traveling, here are some important questions to ask yourself and your loved ones beforehand. These questions can help you decide what is best for you and your family.
- Are you, someone in your household, or someone you will be visiting at increased risk for getting very sick from COVID-19?
- Are cases high or increasing in your community or your destination? Check CDC’s COVID Data Tracker for the latest number of cases.
- Are hospitals in your community or your destination overwhelmed with patients who have COVID-19? To find out, check state and local public health department websites.
- Does your home or destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers? Check state and local requirements before you travel.
- During the 14 days before your travel, have you or those you are visiting had close contact with people they don’t live with?
- Do your plans include traveling by bus, train, or air which might make staying 6 feet apart difficult?
- Are you traveling with people who don’t live with you?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” you should consider making other plans, such as hosting a virtual gathering or delaying your travel.
The safest thing to do is to stay home, but if you do decide to travel, testing can help you do so more safely. Testing does not eliminate all risk, but it can help make travel safer.
It’s important to talk with the people you live with and your family and friends about the risks of traveling.
If you decide to travel, follow these safety measures during your trip to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:
- Wear a mask in public settings, like on public and mass transportation, at events and gatherings, and anywhere you will be around people outside of your household.
- Avoid close contact by staying at least 6 feet apart (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not from your household.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
- Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
- Avoid touching your face mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
Travel can increase the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. Use information from the following webpages to decide whether to travel during the holidays:
- Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Know Your Travel Risk
- Know When to Delay Your Travel to Avoid Spreading COVID-19
- Considerations for traveling overnight
- Travel Planner
Considerations for staying overnight or hosting overnight guests
Consider whether you, someone you live with, or anyone you plan to visit with is at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, to determine whether to stay overnight in the same residence or to stay elsewhere. College students who travel to visit family or friends should be thought of as overnight guests. They and their hosts, which might include their own parents, should follow all overnight guest precautions to protect themselves for the duration of the visit. For longer visits, after 14 days of following guest precautions, the student, if without symptoms or recent contacts with anyone with COVID-19, can be considered a household member and follow steps to protect themselves and others.
- Assess risk for infection based on how you or your visitor will travel.
- Consider and prepare for what you will do if you, or someone else, becomes sick during the visit. What are the plans for isolation, medical care, basic care, and travel home?
Tips for staying overnight or hosting overnight guests
- Visitors should launder clothing and masks, and stow luggage away from common areas upon arrival.
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially upon arrival.
- Wear masks while inside the house. Masks may be removed for eating, drinking, and sleeping, but individuals from different households should stay at least 6 feet away from each other at all times.
- Improve ventilation by opening windows and doors or by placing central air and heating on continuous circulation.
- Spend time together outdoors. Take a walk or sit outdoors at least 6 feet apart for interpersonal interactions.
- Avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors.
- Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people outside the household.
- Monitor hosts and guests for symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
- Hosts and guests should have a plan for what to do if someone becomes sick.