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CDC Refines COVID-19 Travel Guidance, Quarantine Recommendations

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated COVID-19 guidance, sharing advice on safe travel

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated guidance on travel during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, sharing advice on safe travel and easing recommendations for mandatory 14-day quarantine after travel across internal US borders.

States may still maintain their own quarantine requirements for arrivals. If a traveler is sick, travel is still discouraged.

The CDC guidelines also continue to recommend voluntary measures and precautions related to travel within a 14-day period of exposure.

“You can get COVID-19 during your travels. You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to others…for 14 days after you were exposed to the virus.”

“Don’t travel if you are sick or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.”

The CDC recommendations outline potential questions for travelers to consider, such as:

  • What is the COVID-19 prevalence at the destination?
  • Do you live with someone who might be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19?
  • Do you have an underlying medical condition?
  • Are you an older adult?
  • Does the state have guidance about mandatory quarantine?

The guidelines also included tips for safety during travel:

  • Avoiding close contact with strangers.
  • Washing hands often.
  • Avoid touching the eyes, mouth, or nose.

Air travel, the CDC guidance noted, also involves risk. The guidelines noted that air circulation can prevent some viruses from spreading on flights, but that social distancing in airports and on planes is difficult.

Other forms of transport like bus and train travel also carry innate risks if you are living with someone or are someone at risk for severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. In these close corridors, masks may be useful.

At gas pumps, automobile travelers are advised to use disinfecting wipes on any handles or buttons.

“For up-to-date information and travel guidance, check the state, territorial, tribal and local health department where you are, along your route, and where you are going.”

CDC High Risk Activities:

  • Being in an area that is experiencing high levels of COVID-19, including destinations with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice.
  • Going to a large social gathering.
  • Attending a mass gathering.
  • Being in crowds.
  • Traveling on a cruise ship.