Coronavirus Travel Restrictions by State (Updated Dec 2020)

Halina Reagan | 08 December, 2020


          
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Understanding coronavirus travel restrictions by state is critical this holiday season. The spectrum between states is wide--both in terms of number of cases and restrictions. Some have mask mandates, others have strict quarantine measures, and some (California) are in full-lockdown again. Beyond that, it's critical to know what to expect when you get there: Will restaurants and stores be open? Are masks mandated?

    Whether you're considering traveling domestically or abroad for the holidays, here's where to find up-to-date coronavirus travel restrictions by state and country.

    The following information dates from December 7, 2020. Please check state and local advisories for up-to-date information.

    Coronavirus Travel Restrictions by State (December 2020)

    The United States and much of the Western World is in the grips of a surge in COVID-19 cases. Between November 31 and December 6, over 1,300,000 Americans were diagnosed with coronavirus. In eight states, 92 or more Americans per 100,000 are diagnosed with the virus per day. The current COVID-19 surge is more significant than it was at its height this spring and summer. As a result, states are imposing new coronavirus travel restrictions to curb cold-weather and holiday-related spread of the virus.

    Travel Restrictions (Updated 12/8/20)

    Alabama None
    Alaska
    • Arrive with a negative COVID-19 test result
    • File a self-isolation plan with the state
    • Purchase a COVID-19 test ($250) upon arrival
    • Quarantine at own expense until you receive results
    • BUSINESS TRAVEL: Employer files a plan with the state
    Arizona None
    Arkansas None
    California
    • Mandatory stay-at-home order in place state-wide
    • Tourism-related travel is strongly discouraged
    • Anyone traveling to California must quarantine for 14 days
    • Many non-essential businesses are closed
    Colorado None, though tourism is discouraged
    Connecticut
    • Coronavirus travel restrictions include a mandatory self-quarantine for those traveling from states with COVID-19 test positivity rate of 10% or more or a COVID-19 case rate of 10 out of 100,000. Applies to travelers who spent more than a day from the state from which they're traveling
    • Quarantine is not mandatory for those who received a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their trip.
    • Complete travel health form.
    Delaware None
    Florida None
    Georgia None
    Hawaii
    • Travelers 5 years old and older must quarantine for 14 days unless they arrive with a negative test result from a nasals swab FDA-approved nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) with the results confirmed by a CLIA certified laboratory. The test must be taken within 72 hours of their trip.
    • Restrictions do not apply to Kauai island at the time of writing.
    Idaho None
    Illinois
    • None state-wide
    • Chicago: Based on the positive COVID-19 test rate in the state of origin, travelers are placed into categories red orange and yellow. Those from red category states must quarantine for 14 days; Those from orange category states must submit a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of travel or quarantine.
    Indiana None
    Iowa
    • Face masks are mandatory for travelers 2 years old and older when in indoor public or state-run spaces and when outdoor social distancing is not possible for more than 15 minutes.
    Kansas
    • Coronavirus travel restrictions by state and country change frequently.
    • Anyone who attended a gathering of 500+ people without social distancing and mask wearing.
    • Anyone who took a cruise trip after March 15.
    Kentucky
    • Those traveling from states with positive COVID-19 test rate of 15% (per Johns Hopkins University data) must quarantine for 14 days.
    Louisiana None
    Maine
    • Provide a negative COVID-19 result taken within 72 hours of travel, quarantine for 14 days or take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Maine.
    • Vermont and New Hampshire are exempt.
    Maryland None
    Massachusetts
    • Travelers from every state except Maine and Hawaii must submit a travel form.
    • Massachusetts coronavirus travel restrictions also specify that visitors must submit a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of traveling or quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
    • The fine for not following these measures is $500.
    Michigan None
    Minnesota
    • Stay-at-home order until December 18, 2020.
    • Visitors and residents arriving from out-of-state must quarantine for 14 days.
    Mississippi None
    Missouri None
    Montana None (check reservations for specific information)
    Nebraska None
    Nevada None
    New Hampshire
    • 14-day Self-quarantine is mandatory for extended-stay travelers.
    • Does not apply to visitors from New England.
    New Jersey
    • Tourism is strongly discouraged.
    • Anyone visiting must quarantine for 14 days.
    • Visitors must submit a survey about their travel prior to arrival.
    • New York, Connecticut, Delaware, and Pennsylvania visitors are excluded from self-quarantine.
    New Mexico
    • All those traveling from states (excluding Hawaii) must quarantine for 14 days.
    • New Mexico updates its state-by-state travel restrictions every week on Wednesday.
    New York
    • Mandatory 14 day quarantine for out-of-state visitors for all except those sharing a border with New York.
    • Travelers may submit a negative COVID-19 test in order to be exempt from quarantining.
    • Visitors must also complete a Traveler Health Form.
    North Carolina None
    North Dakota None, however North Dakota has the highest rate of COVID-19 per 100,000 people in the country.
    Ohio
    • Anyone traveling from a state with a positive rate of 15% must follow a 14-day quarantine. You can see the list on the state website.
    Oklahoma None
    Oregon
    • Anyone traveling from out-of-state is encouraged to quarantine for 14 days.
    • 25 counties are considered high risk of COVID-19 and have closed many businesses as a result.
    Pennsylvania
    • Anyone visiting Pennsylvania (11 years old +) must produce a negative COVID-19 test result or quarantine for 14 days. 
    Rhode Island
    • Any visitors from states with positive rates exceeding 5% is mandated to quarantine for 14 days.
    • Optionally, visitors may take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in Rhode Island. If the results come back negative, they are exempt from the quarantine.
    South Carolina None
    South Dakota None, however Native American reservations may have restrictions.
    Tennessee None
    Texas None
    Utah None
    Vermont
    • 14-day quarantine is mandatory for tourists.
    • Visitors may take a COVID-19 PCR test on the 7th day of quarantining and end their quarantine early if they receive a negative result.
    Virginia None
    Washington, DC
    • Visitors from states with more than 10 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Americans should take a test a maximum of 72 hours before traveling to D.C. and receive a negative test result.
    • For trips exceeding 3 days, visitors should be tested a second time.
    Washington
    • A 14-day quarantine is recommended for anyone traveling from out-of-state or out of the country.
    • The state is discouraging tourists.
    West Virginia None
    Wisconsin None, though some businesses may be closed.
    Wyoming None

    Is Domestic Travel Safe During Coronavirus?

    Health officials are strongly discouraging Americans from traveling this holiday season because it increases your chances of contracting the virus. Here are a few statistics on the progression of the pandemic to bear in mind, no matter your holiday plans. The following chart was updated on December 8, 2020.

    Total COVID-19 Cases in the U.S 14,637,000*
    Average New Daily Cases (per 100,000)**
    59
    Total Deaths
    281,000

    *Rounded up to the nearest thousand. **Average of past 7 days.

    With that in mind, they're warning Americans to ask themselves and their loved ones the following questions before embarking on a trip.

    1. Are you flying during coronavirus? Remember that the risk of contracting COVID-19 extends beyond being on a plane: the more people you come into contact with (waiting in line to get your bag, boarding the aircraft, waiting at the airport...) increases your risk of contracting the virus.
    2. What are the specific coronavirus travel restrictions in the state you're planning on visiting?
    3. How is the pandemic progressing in your state and your destination? Are cases rising in your home state or destination?
    4. Are hospitals overwhelmed in your community or your destination? As a rule of thumb, the more overwhelmed local hospitals are, the worse care their patients receive and the higher the COVID-19 death toll.
    5. Whom are you visiting, and are they at risk for COVID-19?
    6. Have you been social distancing prior to your trip? This means avoiding social gatherings, crowded restaurants, bars, theaters, using public transportation (...).
    7. Who are you traveling with and do they live with you?
    8. What precautions can you take if you choose to travel (hint: face shields, hand sanitizer, etc.)?

    "The overall weekly hospitalization rate is at its highest point since the beginning of the pandemic, with steep increases in adults aged 65 years and older." - CDC (Center for Disease Control) weekly summary.

    The U.S. Has a Global Coronavirus Travel Advisory

    Much of the world is classified as a Level 4 Risk, meaning that the risk of COVID-19 is high. As a result, the U.S. and other countries have implemented coronavirus travel restrictions for domestic and international travelers. For instance, U.S. citizens are currently not permitted to enter France, Italy, Germany, and many common holiday destinations.

    Is There Travel Insurance for Coronavirus Following New Travel Restrictions?

    Had a trip planned and not sure whether you can get a refund? Many people invest in travel insurance because it can cover the cost of a trip up to 75% under normal circumstances. But how does this work during COVID-19?

    It depends on the type of travel insurance. However, many types of travel insurance cover sickness and injury-related incidents, as well as quarantines. Some policies have a "fear of traveling," which may apply to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Check with your policy.

    Beyond that, many major airlines are offering free flight changes, especially for domestic flights, if your flight falls within a certain timeline. For example, Delta, American Airlines, and United have eliminated flight change fees for domestic trips for a time.

    Can You Travel to Mexico During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

    Traveling to Mexico is strongly discouraged, as of December 8, 2020. If you are planning on traveling, check CDC recommendations before your upcoming trip. At the time of writing, anyone who travels to Mexico during the coronavirus must:

    • Take a COVID-19 test within 1-3 days of your trip. Do not travel without a negative result.
    • Use the necessary precautions, such as wearing a face mask, social distancing, and washing your hands while traveling.
    • Take another test within 1-3 days of your trip back to the U.S.
    • Upon your return to the U.S., quarantine for a few days, then take a COVID-19 test within 3-5 days of your return. Those who do not get tested should remain at home for a minimum of 10 days.
    • Anyone who knowingly comes into contact with the virus should postpone all travel, take a test, and self-quarantine.

    Coronavirus Travel Restrictions in Mexico

    Though Mexico does not have strict policies concerning who can enter, the CDC has recently classified Mexico as a Level 4 country. This means that the chances of getting COVID-19 while traveling to Mexico are very high.

    To date, over 100,000 people have died in Mexico from the virus.

    Mexico has been a popular travel destination throughout the pandemic, however this has contributed to a surge in cases. The CDC strongly discourages all Americans from traveling to Mexico during coronavirus.

    Can You Travel to Europe During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

    Many of the most popular European travel destinations are barring entry to non-citizens (who do not have special permission), including France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Greece, the Netherlands. U.S. citizens may travel to the U.K., however travel is discouraged.

    American citizens who are abroad are permitted to return to the U.S. and will have to follow specific procedures upon their return.

    Is Domestic Travel Safe During Coronavirus?

    Wondering whether you can visit family or take a vacation? The CDC is strongly discouraging all travel due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. The vast majority of states are experiencing an increase in cases, amplified by recent holiday travels.

    Whether or not travel is safe depends on the nature of the pandemic in your state of origin and destination, the health and ages of people traveling, the health of those with whom you'll come into contact, hospital capacity, and method of travel. Are you traveling during a busy time of year? Are you traveling by car or plane?

    The bottom line is: The more people with whom you come into contact and the higher the number of cases in your location, the more likely you contract coronavirus.

    No matter where you're headed, make sure to check state-specific coronavirus travel restrictions. Many states will require a negative test result or a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

    The safest course of action is to stay home, social distance, and wear a face mask when outside.

    DISCLAIMER: The above is not medical advice. It was written for informational purposes only. Please see the CDC website for up-to-date information. Please speak with your doctor if you are concerned about your health and wellbeing.