Travel Restrictions During COVID-19: 50-State Resources
To stem the spread of the coronavirus, certain states have enacted restrictions on interstate and sometimes international travel. These often take the form of a quarantine that lasts for 10 or 14 days, which may be either mandatory or advised. A traveler often can avoid or lessen a quarantine requirement by getting tested for COVID-19 shortly before their trip or after their arrival. As vaccinations have progressed, exemptions apply in some states to people who have been fully vaccinated. (This usually means that they have received a one-dose vaccine or completed a two-dose vaccination series at least 14 days before.) During the spring and summer of 2021, most travel restrictions have been lifted or largely lifted.
Starting in January 2021, moreover, the federal government (through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) began to require incoming international air travelers to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of their international departure. Alternatively, they can present proof of recovery from the coronavirus within the last 90 days. Moreover, an executive order requires travelers to wear masks in airports and while using most modes of public or commercial transportation, including airplanes, trains, buses, and ferries.
The list below focuses on restrictions at the state level. Many county and city governments have adopted their own restrictions, which are generally not covered here. You may want to check the website of your local governing authority to find out about the most recent travel rules that may affect you.
Non-vaccinated travelers are advised to get tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours before travel or get a free COVID-19 test at an Alaska port of entry, but testing is optional. A second test 5 to 14 days after travel is recommended but optional. No testing rules apply to fully vaccinated travelers (more than two weeks after final vaccine dose). People who are currently positive for COVID-19 cannot enter Alaska until they are released from isolation by a health care provider or public health agency. People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days are not advised to get tested again.
The California Department of Public Health recommends that people delay travel until they are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated people who travel should get tested before and after travel. Everyone must wear masks indoors on public transportation or in a transportation hub. Masks are not required outdoors while traveling, but they are recommended for unvaccinated people.
Non-essential travel is not recommended for people who have not been fully vaccinated. People who have been fully vaccinated do not need to get tested before or after domestic travel and do not need to self-quarantine. International travelers should get tested 3-5 days after their trip. People who are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, or traveling with higher-risk people, should consider limiting their travel. People should not travel if they are sick or have recently tested positive for COVID-19, if they are with someone who is sick, or if they have been around someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
Fully vaccinated domestic travelers or domestic travelers who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days can avoid quarantine and testing requirements unless they have symptoms of COVID-19. Fully vaccinated international travelers must provide proof of a negative test before boarding their flight and get tested 3-5 days after their trip. Unvaccinated travelers coming for non-essential travel must get a COVID-19 test 1-3 days before coming to the District of Columbia. If they test positive, they must complete their isolation before returning home, and susceptible close contacts must complete a 10-day quarantine. Essential travelers who are unvaccinated must get a COVID-19 test if they have more than one week of notice. Travelers coming from Maryland or Virginia, or staying in the District of Columbia for less than 24 hours, are exempt from testing requirements.
No statewide travel restrictions as of July 18, 2021, although there is a general recommendation not to travel if you are sick or with someone who is sick, or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
No statewide travel restrictions as of July 18, 2021, other than a general warning not to travel if you are sick and a recommendation to practice precautions during travel. The Georgia Department of Public Health provides a set of issues to consider and precautions to take when traveling during the pandemic. People should reconsider international travel, following a US State Department recommendation.
Travelers arriving in Hawaii must go through a 10-day quarantine upon their arrival or provide a negative result from an NAAT COVID-19 test administered by a trusted testing partner within 72 hours before the final leg of their departure. The negative test result must be submitted prior to departure for Hawaii. Travelers also must complete the Safe Travels Hawaii online form before their arrival. Children under five are exempt from these requirements, as are people entering the state who have been vaccinated in Hawaii. Domestic travelers who have been vaccinated in the US can avoid quarantine by presenting proof of vaccination. Eligibility for the exception starts on the 15th day after the final vaccine dose. All travel restrictions will be lifted when Hawaii reaches a 70 percent vaccination rate.
A home quarantine is mandated for anyone who has attended an out-of-state mass gathering involving 500 or more people where they did not socially distance and wear a mask. A quarantine mandate also applies to people who have traveled to certain countries or islands between dates identified in a Kansas Department of Health and Environment policy (linked below), and to people who have traveled on a cruise ship or river cruise on or after March 15, 2020. The length of the quarantine can be 7, 10, or 14 days after last exposure, depending on whether the traveler has been tested and the preference of the local health officer. People who have been fully vaccinated or have had COVID-19 within the last six months are exempt from quarantine requirements.
No statewide restrictions on domestic travel as of July 18, 2021. Unvaccinated people arriving in Maine within 7 days after international travel must quarantine for 7 days after arriving in the US and get a COVID-19 test within 3-5 days after arriving in the US. They must complete the full 7-day quarantine even if they test negative. An unvaccinated traveler should isolate if they test positive. If an unvaccinated traveler does not get tested after international travel, they should quarantine for 10 days. Any unvaccinated traveler arriving from international travel should avoid being around people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 for 14 days after arriving in the US. Fully vaccinated international travelers do not need to quarantine unless they are experiencing symptoms, but they are advised to get tested 3-5 days after their arrival in the US and isolate if they test positive.
No statewide restrictions on domestic travel as of July 18, 2021. International travelers must get tested within 3 days before returning to the US via airline, or provide documentation of recovery from COVID-19. International travelers are also urged to get tested 3-5 days after returning to the US and quarantine for 7 days after travel, or quarantine for 10 days if they do not get tested.
People should not travel if they have been presumptively diagnosed with COVID-19, are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive and have not yet recovered, or have been potentially exposed to someone who has tested positive.
No statewide restrictions on domestic travel as of July 18, 2021, other than a general recommendation to follow CDC travel guidance. People entering New Hampshire following international travel (except essential travel to or from Canada) or travel on a cruise ship should self-quarantine for 10 days after the last date of international or cruise ship travel. The quarantine may be shortened to 7 days if a traveler is asymptomatic and receives a negative result from a COVID-19 molecular test taken on day 6 or 7 of quarantine. Fully vaccinated people and people within 90 days of a prior testing-confirmed COVID-19 infection are exempt from quarantine after international travel or travel on a cruise ship. However, people not subject to quarantine requirements still should monitor for symptoms and practice social distancing and other public health precautions.
No statewide travel advisory in effect as of July 18, 2021, but travelers should follow CDC recommendations. Unvaccinated people who travel for 24 hours or longer to non-contiguous US states or territories should get tested 1-3 days before their trip and 3-5 days after their trip, and they should self-quarantine at home for 7 days after their trip. People arriving in New Jersey from international travel must get tested for COVID-19 within 3 days prior to their flight departure and present their negative result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight.
Unvaccinated people entering North Dakota are advised to get a viral COVID-19 test 3-5 days after travel and quarantine for 7 days after travel, even if they test negative. They should quarantine for 10 days after travel if they do not get tested. Travelers who test positive or have symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate and follow North Dakota Department of Health recommendations. Unvaccinated travelers should avoid being around people who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 for 14 days, even if they get tested. People should not travel if they are sick or have been around someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days. Fully vaccinated individuals should follow CDC guidance.
No statewide travel restrictions as of July 18, 2021, regardless of whether travelers are vaccinated. However, the Rhode Island Department of Health recommends following CDC quarantine and testing guidance.
No statewide travel restrictions as of July 18, 2021, other than a general recommendation to follow CDC advice and the travel advisories, notices, and recommendations issued by the US State Department.
No statewide travel restrictions as of July 18, 2021, other than general instructions to follow CDC recommendations and take precautions after returning from travel if you have not been fully vaccinated. Travelers are advised to consider purchasing travel insurance.
No statewide restrictions on domestic travel as of July 18, 2021. The Vermont Department of Health notes that the CDC recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated. International travelers should check US State Department travel advisories and follow CDC guidance.
The Virginia Department of Health recommends that people delay travel until they are fully vaccinated, especially if they are at higher risk of serious COVID-19 or visiting someone at higher risk of serious COVID-19. Unvaccinated travelers should quarantine after domestic or international travel. People who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last three months do not need to get tested or quarantine unless they have symptoms.
Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to quarantine, and fully vaccinated domestic travelers do not need to get tested. Fully vaccinated international travelers should get tested 3-5 days after travel. Unvaccinated travelers should get tested 1-3 days before travel and should not travel if they are sick, if they test positive, if they are waiting for their test result, or if they have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days. Unvaccinated travelers should get tested 3-5 days after travel and quarantine for 7 days, even if they test negative. They should quarantine for 10 days if they do not get tested. Also, they should avoid being around people at increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19 for 14 days.
Wisconsin residents are advised to postpone all travel until they are fully vaccinated. People should not travel if they are sick or with someone who is sick, or if they have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days or think that they may have been exposed. Unvaccinated people should avoid travel between multiple private homes within Wisconsin and should avoid going out into the community as much as possible if they travel to an area with few doctors or hospitals.