COVID-19: Travel

On August 11, 2022, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it's streamlining its COVID-19 guidance to help people better understand their risk, how to protect themselves and others, what actions to take if exposed to COVID-19, and what actions to take if they are sick or test positive for the virus. DHS is currently reviewing CDC updates and will update our guidance accordingly.

Effective June 12, 2022, travelers are no longer required to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States. Travelers should still consider getting a COVID-19 test within 3 days of boarding any flight to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you test positive for COVID-19, do not board a plane and follow isolation recommendations

Woman Traveling on Bus Wearing Mask YSTS

If you travel, protect yourself and others

COVID-19 is still spreading across the globe. Stay home if you are sick or think you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Postpone all travel until you are up to date on all COVID-19 vaccinations and booster doses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people wear a well-fitting mask in indoor public transportation settings, especially if they are at increased risk for severe disease. Check the COVID-19 Community Level of your domestic travel destination to determine the prevention measures you should take to stay safe.

  Do not travel if:
  • You have symptoms of COVID-19

  • You tested positive for COVID-19 and have not ended your period of isolation.

    • Do not travel for a full 10 days after your symptoms started or the date of your positive test if you had no symptoms. 

  • You had close contact with a person with COVID-19 and are recommended to quarantine.

    • Do not travel until a full 5 days after your last close contact with the person with COVID-19. It is recommended that you avoid travel for a full 10 days after your last exposure.

    • If you have to travel during days 6 through 10 after your last exposure:

      • Get tested at least 5 days after your last close contact and make sure your test result is negative and that you do not have any symptoms before traveling. Do not travel until a full 10 days after your last close contact with a person with COVID-19 if you cannot get tested.

      • Wear a well-fitting mask when you are around others for the entire duration of your trip. Do not travel if you are unable to wear a mask.

  • You had close contact with a person with COVID-19 and are exempt from quarantine.

    • Get tested at least 5 days after your last close contact and make sure your test result is negative and that you do not have any symptoms before traveling.

    • If you travel before your 10-day quarantine period is complete, wear a well-fitting mask when you are around others for the entire duration of your trip. Do not travel if you are unable to wear a mask.

  • You are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test. If your test comes back positive while you are at your destination, you will need to isolate and postpone your return until it is safe for you to end isolation. If you are traveling with others, they may also need to quarantine.


Before you travel, we want you to know:

  1. Both domestic and international travel is risky. Do not travel unless you are up to date on all COVID-19 vaccinations and booster doeses.
  2. People diagnosed with COVID-19 and close contacts shouldn’t use public transportation (for example, planes, buses, ships, shuttles) during their isolation or quarantine period.  
    • This does not apply to individuals who have been classified by public health as a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case with lab evidence and completed their isolation in the past 90 days.
    • Special modifications or exemptions allowing participation in work or school activities during isolation or quarantine do not change the restrictions from using public transportation during a person's isolation or quarantine period.
  3. It is recommended that people wear a well-fitting mask or respirator in indoor public transportation settings. Masks may still be required when travelling to and from certain international locations based on country requirements. 
  4. Consider getting tested for COVID-19 with a viral test within 3 days of travelling, regardless of your destination or vaccination status.
  5. Travelers are responsible for knowing and complying with all airline and destination(s) requirements. Traveler requirements for incoming individuals are set by the destination. Airlines may have more stringent COVID-19 prevention requirements than travel destinations (for example, states, countries, and tribal nations).

Domestic and international travel

 Domestic travel

Do not travel if you are sick, in isolation or quarantine, or waiting for a COVID-19 test result. Delay any travel plans until you are up to date on all COVID-19 vaccinations and booster doses. 

 

If you have to travel domestically, visit the CDC website for more information about domestic travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Wearing a well-fitting mask or respirator is recommended on all public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the U.S. and in U.S. transportation hubs, such as airports or bus terminals.
  • If you are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines and have to travel, get tested before and after your trip. Some cities, counties, and employers may have post-travel requirements for their residents or employees, so DHS recommends checking with your local health department or employer prior to travel. 
  • Get tested after domestic travel, regardless of vaccination status, if your travel involved situations with a greater risk of exposure such as being in crowded places while not wearing a well-fitting mask or respirator.
  •  Follow quarantine guidance if you were exposed to COVID-19. Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.  

 International travel

Do not travel is you are sick, tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days, in isolation or quarantine, or waiting for a COVID-19 test result. Delay any travel plans until you are up to date on all COVID-19 vaccinations and booster doses.

 

If you have to travel internationally, visit the CDC website for information about international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. Travelers are responsible for knowing and complying with COVID-19 requirements set by their destinations and transportation carriers (such as airline, ship, train).

  • There are different international travel vaccination requirements for U.S. Citizens, U.S. Nationals, U.S Lawful Permanent Residents, and Immigrants, and Non-U.S. Citizen, Non-U.S. Immigrants.
  • Wearing a mask is recommended on all public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the U.S. and in U.S. transportation hubs, such as airports or bus terminals. 
  • Check with your destination's Office of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, or the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information page for details about entry requirements and restrictions for arriving travelers before you travel. 
  • Request any documents you need to travel (such as an isolation release letter, test results, vaccination record, medical exemption letter) from your health care provider or local or tribal health department as soon as possible. Many local and tribal health departments need a week to fulfill documentation of recovery requests.
  • Travelers are no longer required to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States. Travelers should still consider getting a COVID-19 test within 3 days of boarding any flight to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you test positive for COVID-19, do not board a plane and follow isolation recommendations. 
  • Visit the CDC website for more information about testing and documentation requirements to fly to the U.S. by plane from a foreign country. 

Frequently asked questions

 What are the current CDC travel advisories and what do they mean?

CDC classifies countries into different levels of travel risk based on each country's degree of COVID-19 transmission (primary criteria) and health care capacity and/or public health infrastructure (secondary criteria). Most countries are considered Level 3 at this time. Level 3 means there is a high level of COVID-19 risk. If you do travel, make sure you are up to date with all COVID-19 vaccinations and booster doses.

More information can be found on CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel webpage.

 What should I do if I need to be tested before I leave?

Plan ahead and get tested with a viral test. There may be costs associated with obtaining pre-travel testing. Visit the CDC website for more information about testing and documentation requirements to fly to the U.S. by plane from a foreign country. 

 How do I reach my local health department?

Your local or tribal health department depends on where you live. Please see the DHS Local Public Health webpage and click your county.


Get tested

You may need to be tested before or after you travel. There are many ways to get tested for COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

 

Medical professional performing a nasal swab test on an adult

Last Revised: July 26, 2022

211 Wisconsin

Call 211 or 877-947-2211 to get referrals for thousands of services across Wisconsin. For COVID-19 questions, text COVID to 211-211. Language assistance is available.

Resilient Wisconsin

Get help learning how to manage stress and adapt to change with services and support from organizations across the state.

Helpful resources

Find help with housing, income, food, employment, health care, mental health concerns, safety at home, and more—in multiple languages.