Air Travel and COVID-19
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. Social distancing is difficult in busy airports and on crowded flights, and sitting within 6 feet of others, sometimes for hours, may increase your risk of getting COVID-19. How you get to and from the airport, such as with
public transportation and ridesharing
, can also increase your chances of being exposed to the virus.
Testing before and after travel can reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Testing does not eliminate all risk, but when paired with a period of staying at home and everyday precautions like
, it can make travel safer by reducing spread on planes, in airports, and at destinations.
Here’s what to know:
· Plan ahead: 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, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States.
· Make sure that you will be able to get a test at your destination before your return to the United States. Always check and follow
state and local
recommendations or requirements related to travel in addition to federal requirements.
· Get tested with a
1-3 days before you travel. Keep a copy of your test results with you during travel in case you are asked for them. Check and follow destination testing requirements—they may require specific types of tests.
· Don’t travel if you test positive; immediately isolate yourself and follow public health recommendations
travel if you are waiting for test results.
· Get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel.
· Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
· If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 10 days after travel.
· If you are eligible, get fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Wait 2 weeks after getting your second vaccine dose to travel—it takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination.