As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow in the U.S., Newsweek takes a look at the current travel restrictions for each state.
At the time of writing, the U.S. has 6,814,696 confirmed cases, with India and Brazil having the second and third highest case numbers respectively, as shown in the below graphic. The U.S. has confirmed 199,531 deaths from the coronavirus (COVID-19), with 2,590,671 confirmed recoveries. According to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus map, New York, New Jersey and Texas have the highest numbers of deaths respectively.
This graphic, produced by Statista, illustrates the number of COVID-19 cases recorded in each state.
Can You Spread COVID-19 by Traveling?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, travel can increase a person’s chance of getting and spreading the coronavirus. While some people might not get any symptoms, also known as being asymptomatic, during traveling they can still spread the virus to others. CDC advises that staying at home is the best way to protect everyone from COVID-19.
“You and your travel companions (including children) may spread COVID-19 to other people including your family, friends, and community for 14 days after you were exposed to the virus,” CDC has warned on its website. “Don’t travel if you are sick or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.”
The organization has created the below guidance on what people should do prior, during and post travel.
Before traveling, CDC advises to consider the following:
- Is COVID-19 spreading at your destination? The more cases at your destination, the more likely you are to get infected during travel and spread the virus to others when you return.
- Make sure to check each U.S. state’s cases in the last seven days so you can properly prepare.
- If you are planning to travel abroad, read the following recommendations for destinations around the world
- Do you live with someone who might be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19? Keep in mind that if you get infected while traveling, you can spread the virus to loved ones when you return.
- Are you at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19?
- Anyone can get very ill from the virus that causes COVID-19, but older adults and people of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- Does your destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers?
- Some state, local, and territorial governments have requirements, such as requiring people to wear masks and requiring those who recently traveled to stay home for up to 14 days. Check state, territorial, tribal and local public health websites for information before you travel.
- If you are traveling internationally, check the destination’s Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health or the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information for details about entry requirements and restrictions for arriving travelers, such as mandatory testing or quarantine.
During your trip, take steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:
- Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when in public settings.
- Avoid close contact by staying at least 6 feet apart from anyone who is not from your household.
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (containing at least 60 percent alcohol).
- Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
According to CDC, airports, bus stations, train stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus. This is because the virus is airborne and can travel through droplets in the air and can survive on surfaces. Further, social distancing is more difficult in these areas.
“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,” says the CDC website. However, it also advises that most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes.
If you are traveling to the airport on a bus or train, you might be exposed to the virus due to being within 6 feet of others. In a car, stops along the way for gas, food or bathroom breaks can also put you in close contact with others.
Motor homes, also known as RVs, could allow for fewer stops for food and bathroom breaks. However, consider the risk posed by staying overnight at RV parks or other public places. Traveling on a cruise ship or river boat is considered a “high risk” travel situation, according to the CDC.
Which States Have COVID-19 Travel Restrictions?
Different U.S. states have different rules when it comes to state-by-state travel. Some have reopened to travelers, while others are closing up again. Here is a list of each state and its travel status. (All information correct at the time of writing).
Alabama: There are no travel restrictions in places for out-of-state travelers.
Alaska: This state reopened on September 3, 2020, following restrictions beginning August 11. Previously, the state required out-of-state travelers to test within 72 hours before arrival and those who refused would need to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
Arizona: This state is closed to out-of-state travelers.
Arkansas: This state is now open for travelers from other states.
California: Following a surge in confirmed cases, this state has closed its borders to out-of-state travelers.
Colorado: Reclosed on August 14, 2020.
Connecticut: This state is not moving ahead with the next phase of its reopening plans. The CDC has urged residents of Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel.
Delaware: A ban on short term rentals was lifted on June 1, however the next phase to reopen the state has been paused.
District of Columbia: Reopened on August 27, 2020.
Florida: No restrictions effective September 18, 2020.
Georgia: This state reopened on August 27, 2020.
Hawaii: Reopened on September 11, 2020. All travelers arriving at Hawaii’s airports, including residents, must complete the required paperwork. A 14-day self-quarantine applies to all travelers and residents arriving in Hawaii. There is also a 14-day quarantine requirement in place for inter-island travel.
Idaho: The next phase of the reopening plan in this state has been paused. Visitors do not need to self-quarantine.
Illinois: Reopened on July 22, 2020.
Indiana: There are no restrictions in place for visitors from other states, but the next phase of the reopening plan has been paused.
Iowa: This state reopened on July 22, 2020.
Kansas: Reopening effective from July 22, 2020. However, residents who traveled to California, Florida, New York or Washington on or after March 15, must self-quarantine. If they have traveled to Illinois or New Jersey on or after March 23 or Colorado and Louisiana on or after March 27, they also need to self-isolate.
Kentucky: No restrictions effective 3 September. Self-isolation from traveling out of the state is recommended but not required.
Louisiana: This state has no travel restrictions in place for out-of-state travelers.
Maine: Reopened on August 20, 2020. Visitors entering Maine with proof of a recent negative test result do not have to quarantine upon arrival. Residents of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey are exempt from this requirement altogether.
Maryland: Reopened on August 14, 2020. A travel advisory is in place encouraging residents not to travel to states with a positive case rate exceeding 10 percent.
Massachusetts: The reopening plan for this state has been paused since August 20, 2020.
Michigan: There are no restrictions in place for out-of-state-travelers.
Minnesota: Reopened on July 22, 2020.
Mississippi: The next stage in the reopening plan has been paused in this state, however there are no restrictions placed on travelers from outside the state.
Missouri: Reopened on July 22, 2020.
Montana: Since June 1, out-of-state travelers arriving in Montana have no longer had to quarantine for 14 days. The state reopened on August 14, 2020.
Nebraska: Only individuals returning to Nebraska from international travel will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
Nevada: There are no travel restrictions in place for out-of-state travelers.
New Hampshire: Reopened on September 11, 2020.
New Jersey: No restrictions effective September 11, 2020, however there is a mandatory 14-day quarantine in place for travelers coming to New Jersey from 35 high-risk states, all of which can be found here.
New Mexico: This state has reopened to travelers from outside the state.
New York: While the state is reopened, the CDC has advised residents to refrain from non-essential domestic travel.
North Carolina: There are no travel restrictions in place for this state.
North Dakota: Travelers entering North Dakota from international locations or other states with widespread COVID-19 transmission must quarantine immediately for 14 days upon arrival. The state is fully reopened.
Ohio: Individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 or exhibiting symptoms are prohibited from entering Ohio, with a few exceptions.
Oklahoma: Reopened on August 27, 2020.
Oregon: The next steps in the reopening plan have been paused but there are no travel restrictions in place.
Pennsylvania: Reopening effective August 17, 2020. Travelers entering Pennsylvania from designated high-risk areas are recommended to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
Rhode Island: The next stages in the reopening plan have been paused. All travelers entering Rhode Island from designated states with a positivity rate of greater than 5 percent must self-quarantine for 14 days, unless they can provide proof of a negative test result within 72 hours prior to arrival.
South Carolina: There are no restrictions in the state.
South Dakota: Reopened on July 22, 2020.
Tennessee: Reopened on August 27, 2020.
Texas: Reopened on August 27, 2020, with no restrictions in place.
Utah: Reopening effective August 20, 2020. However, out of state travel remains limited. Anyone returning to the state from high-risk areas must self-isolate for 14 days.
Vermont: All travelers entering Vermont from another state must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, except certain designated states with 400 or fewer cases per 1 million people.
Virginia: Reopened on August 27, 2020.
Washington: The next steps in the reopening plan have been paused. There are no travel restrictions in place.
West Virginia: The state has reopened.
Wisconsin: Some local governments have issued their own orders, but the state is open.
Wyoming: No restrictions effective September 3, 2020.
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