You asked. We answered. COVID-19 Travel Questions
People have been getting back to travel lately and we are thrilled to see it! But no one can deny that the travel landscape looks a little different than it did 18 months ago.
Here are a few of our most frequently asked questions about COVID 19 and travel – along with the potential impacts on your trip.
Due to COVID19 restrictions, what do I need to travel from X to Y?
Right now, for U.S. domestic travel the federal government doesn’t have any restrictions in place outside of a mask mandate on public transportation, in airports, on airplanes and in transportation stations.
However, state, local, and territorial governments may have travel restrictions in place, including testing requirements, stay-at-home orders, and quarantine requirements upon arrival. For up-to-date information and travel guidance, check the state or territorial and local health department where you are, along your route, and where you are going. Prepare to be flexible during your trip as restrictions and policies may change during your travel. Follow all state, local, and territorial travel restrictions.
International travel restrictions are fluid and you should make sure you’re up to speed on what restrictions are in place for any country you plan to visit.
I have COVID-19. Can I get a full refund?
Back when the pandemic was first underway, the domestic air carriers all pretty much suspended cancellation and change penalties. This was (and is) good news for travelers. But no airline is giving full refunds. If you need to cancel a trip because you’ve contracted COVID-19, you’ll generally be issued a credit for future travel, NOT a refund.
You should also keep in mind that should you rebook in the future, your credit will be applied to a new ticket but you’ll be expected to pay the difference in the ticket price (when there is one).
Are the airlines still offering flexible change and cancellation policies due to COVID-19?
By and large, the answer is still yes. Read through the domestic airlines’ policies on changing or cancelling a ticket.
Do I have to wear a mask on the airplane/at the airport?
Yes. Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas (like on open deck areas of a ferry or the uncovered top deck of a bus).
I am not vaccinated. Can I still fly?
The CDC recommends Americans delay travel until they are vaccinated. If you must travel while unvaccinated, you should:
- Get a viral test 1-3 days before your trip
- Wear a mask and social distance while you are traveling (airports, airplanes and all federal buildings and public transportation around the U.S. are still under a mask mandate, regardless of your vaccination status)
- Get a viral test 3-5 days after your return and self-quarantine for at least 7 days
- When your test is positive you should self isolate
- If you choose to not get a test post-travel, please self quarantine for 10 days
- If you know you have been exposed to COVID-19, if you have been infected with COViD-19, or if you are waiting on results from a COVID-19 test you should not travel.
I’m thinking of traveling internationally. Do I need a “vaccine passport”?
Every country has different requirements for incoming travelers. This post will let you know what requirements each country has. You can also reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org via email for additional guidance once you have purchased an international ticket.
What is a vaccine passport?
A vaccine passport is simply a digital record showing you have been vaccinated against COVID-19. At the moment, there is not a coordinated vaccine passport policy across the world, and each country has their own policies for this information should be presented.
I’m fully vaccinated. Am I required to quarantine after I’ve traveled domestically? Internationally?
If your travel is within the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
If you are traveling internationally, pay close attention to the situation at your international destination before traveling outside the United States.
- You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it
- You’ll still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the United States
- Travelers should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel
- You do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States
How does the CDC decide on the COVID-19 Travel Health Notice (THN) Level of a destination?
The CDC reviews case data reported to the World Health Organization to determine a destination’s COVID-19 THN level.
THN thresholds are based on the number of COVID-19 cases in a destination. You can see a current list of country THN levels on the CDC website.
As you get back to travel, we’re here to help! Please let us know any other questions you’d like answered in the comments section below.