Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Some travel activities, like the transportation you choose and where you stay, can increase your risk of getting COVID-19. Your chances of exposure are higher if you come into close contact with others, especially people you don’t know, or use shared public facilities (like restrooms). COVID-19 is spreading in the United States and in many international destinations. Visiting locations where there are fewer cases of COVID-19 may be less risky for getting COVID-19 than visiting locations where there are more cases of COVID-19.
Before you travel, learn which travel activities are lower risk to protect yourself and others. Keep in mind that getting from one place to another is just one piece of the travel risk. Your activities and who you interact with before, during, and after travel may increase your risk.
Your chances of getting COVID-19 while traveling depend not only on the length of the trip and the number of stops, but also on whether you and those around you take precautions, such as wearing masks and staying at least 6 feet away from other people. Airports, bus stations, train stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus through respiratory droplets or on surfaces. These are also places where it can be hard to keep your distance. In general, the longer you are around a person with COVID-19 (even if they do not have symptoms), the more likely you are to get infected.
During car travel, making stops along the way for gas, food, or bathroom breaks can put you and your traveling companions in close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces. If traveling in a RV, you may have to stop less often for food or bathroom breaks, but you could still be in close contact with others while staying at RV parks overnight and while getting gas and supplies at public places.
Traveling on buses and trains for any length of time can involve sitting or standing within 6 feet of others, which may increase your risk of getting COVID-19. If you choose to travel by bus or train, learn what you can do to protect yourself on public transportation.
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. Most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes. However, keeping your distance is difficult on crowded flights, and sitting within 6 feet of others, sometimes for hours, may increase your risk of getting COVID-19.
- Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
- Short trips by car with members of your household with no stops along the way
- Longer trips by car or RV with one or more stops along the way
- Trips by car or RV with people who are not in your household
- Long-distance public transportation (e.g., train or bus)
- Direct flights
- Flights with layovers
- Traveling on a cruise ship or river boat