Travelers

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Travelers

COVID-19 is still spreading within Virginia, across the U.S., and in other countries. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) urges Virginians who are not fully vaccinated to avoid travel. Especially if they are or visiting someone who is at higher risk of serious COVID-19 [Español].

Getting vaccinated, including additional doses for those who are immunocompromised and boosters if eligible, is the best way to protect yourself from severe disease and slow the spread of COVID-19. All travelers should consider the risks for getting or spreading COVID-19 and follow recommendations and requirements at their destination. 

Domestic Travel Recommendations and Requirements

If you plan to travel by air, check if your airline requires any testing, vaccination, or other documents.

Follow all state and local recommendations and requirements before, during, and after travel.

If you plan to travel by air, check if your airline requires any testing, vaccination, or other documents.

Follow all state and local recommendations and requirements before, during, and after travel. 

International Travel Recommendations and Requirements

If you plan to travel by air, check if your airline requires any testing, vaccination, or other documents.

*VDH is sending an email message with health information and guidance to people who recently returned to Virginia after international travel. The email message provides information about monitoring for symptoms, staying home (quarantine or isolation), and testing recommendations. This email will also have links to helpful information and resources. As resources allow, VDH also provides a link to request a free home COVID-19 test kit from VDH.

Refer to CDC’s additional reference with requirements for travelers flying to the U.S. from a foreign country. You can use the new CDC assessment tool to find out if you can board a flight to the U.S . [Español]

Requirements for land travelers to the U.S. are available in the Department of Homeland Security’s Fact Sheet: Guidance for Travelers to Enter the U.S. at Land Ports of Entry and Ferry Terminals.

For international travel, information about requirements for your destination may be available from the Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health, or the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information webpage.

Travel related requirements and recommendations in and to Virginia

All Travelers

Before travel, check destinations travel requirements

Before traveling, make sure you understand your destination’s requirements for travelers related to masking, testing, and quarantine. 

Masks

For the most current advice about when to wear masks, visit VDH’s Mask web page.

Indoor Public Transportation

All travelers ages 2 years and older are required to wear masks [Español] while on public transportation within, into, or out of the U.S., including Virginia (e.g., planes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses (including school buses), taxis, and rideshares). Travelers are also required to wear masks while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs, such as airports, bus, and train stations. 

This requirement applies to passengers, transportation operators (e.g., crew, drivers, conductors, and other workers involved in public transportation), and operators of transportation hubs. 

This requirement to wear a mask on all forms of public transportation and at transportation hubs has been extended through March 18, 2022.

Outdoor Public Transportation

Travelers within, into, or out of the U.S. are not required to wear masks in outdoor areas of a transportation conveyance or transportation hub, but masks are still recommended in these areas for travelers who are not fully vaccinated. If fully vaccinated, VDH recommends travelers follow CDC guidance [Español].

Public indoor settings

In Virginia, people 2 years and older who are not fully vaccinated should wear a well-fitting mask in all public indoor settings. Fully vaccinated people should wear a mask in public indoor settings when community spread is substantial or high. This means you are in a place where the spread of COVID-19 is happening more often. Check COVID-19 Level of Community Transmission dashboard to see if you are traveling to, or are in one of those areas.

Fully vaccinated people should also wear masks in indoor public settings if they have a weakened immune system.

Outdoor settings

Fully vaccinated people generally do not need to wear masks in outdoor settings. They might choose to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings if they or someone in their household has a weakened immune system. 

Any person aged 2 years or older and not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings as recommended by CDC [Español]

Not fully vaccinated

Any person aged 2 years or older and not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a mask in public indoor and in crowded outdoor settings as recommended by CDC [Español].

Additional Settings

There are some settings where there are still mask requirements, including some federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations and local business and workplace guidance.

What it means to be fully vaccinated

Fully vaccinated [Español] means it has been two weeks after your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This means two weeks after your one dose of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine or after your second dose of Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Moderna vaccine. You are also considered to be fully vaccinated if you completed a COVID-19 vaccination series with a vaccine authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization. Examples include the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine. For international travel to the U.S., the definition of fully vaccinated [Español] is slightly different.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines visit VDH’s COVID-19 Vaccination Response.

People who recently recovered from COVID-19

Travelers who recovered from COVID-19 within the last 3 months do not need to get tested for COVID-19 or quarantine after travel unless they have symptoms or if testing or quarantine are required by their destination.

If you are exposed to COVID-19 before, during, or after travel

Do not travel if you have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and have not ended quarantine

Get tested at least 5 days after your last exposure and make sure the test is negative and you continue to have no symptoms before traveling. Those who can’t get testing should not travel for the full 10 days after exposure. To find a testing location near you, contact a healthcare provider or visit Virginia COVID-19 Testing Sites or the local health department website [Español] in the area where you are traveling. 

If you must travel within the 10 days after exposure, wear a well-fitting mask when around others. If you cannot wear a mask, delay travel for the full 10 days after exposure. 

If you start to feel sick before, during, or after travel

Isolate (stay home)

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms [Español] or test positive, isolate (stay home and away from others) to protect others from getting infected. This applies to all travelers, regardless of vaccination status. If you develop symptoms, you can find a COVID-19 test by contacting a healthcare provider or by visiting Virginia COVID-19 Testing Sites or the local health department website [Español] in the area where you are traveling. 

If you are traveling when you get sick or test positive, do not travel if you have not ended isolation. After you end isolation, do not travel for the full 10 days after symptoms started (or positive test if you never had symptoms). If you must travel on days 6-10, wear a well-fitting mask when around others. Do not travel during this time, if you cannot wear a mask. 

Learn more about what to do if you are sick or infected with COVID-19.

Traveling on cruise ships

CDC has recommended that all travelers avoid cruise ships, regardless of vaccination status. The COVID-19 Travel Health Notice level for cruise ships has been updated from Level 3 to Level 4, the highest level.  This is because of the increases in cases on cruise ships since the Omicron variant was identified. CDC recommends that travelers who are exposed to someone with COVID-19 while on a cruise ship quarantine for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status. Travelers who are sick or infected with COVID-19 while on a cruise ship should isolate for a full 10 days, regardless of vaccination status.  

Learn more

For more information:

Page Last Updated: January 13, 2022

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