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Staying Vigilant and Keeping Up With Current Guidance When Considering Travel During COVID-19

Current as of July 12, 2021


If you are thinking about traveling, it’s vital to stay up to date about coronavirus-19 disease travel restrictions and regulations.

The Department of Defense and other governmental agencies regularly release current, reliable information about COVID-19. Follow their guidance to keep yourself and others safe and healthy.

Before you travel

The Centers for Disease Control recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. When you do travel, your leader and medical personnel will conduct a risk assessment of your health and travel itinerary. To be reimbursed for official travel, family members must also undergo a risk assessment.

The risk assessment will evaluate:

  • Whether you have signs of COVID-19 or have had contact with someone who tested positive or who had symptoms within the past 14 days.
  • Whether you are at increased risk of severe illness of COVID-19.
  • That you know what actions to take if you develop symptoms of or test positive for COVID-19.

Travelers must wear face masks on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation. Masks are also required in transportation hubs, such as airports, bus and train stations.

If you are considering travel within the U.S.

When considering whether to travel for nonofficial reasons, equip yourself with the right information to make smart decisions.

  • Check whether travel restrictions have been lifted at your installation. The DOD has lifted travel restrictions where warranted by local conditions. See the DOD’s COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Installation Status Update on its Coronavirus: Latest DOD Guidance page.
  • Find out about infection rates. You may want to reconsider travel if the number of COVID-19 cases is high at home or at your destination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention keeps an updated list of United States COVID-19 Cases and Deaths by State.
  • Learn about travel restrictions. Some states require travelers from high-risk states to test negative for COVID-19 or quarantine after arrival. If you travel to a state where the infection rate is high, you may have to quarantine or test negative when you return home as well. Find out about the requirements by looking up the health departments of your destination and home state at the CDC’s health department website.

If you are considering travel outside of the U.S.

The risk of COVID-19 differs from country to country. Although fully-vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19, new or concerning variants may put them at increased risk. Prepare by doing the following:

Before being allowed to return to the U.S., you must test negative for COVID-19 no more than three days before your travel date or have documentation that you recovered from COVID-19 within three months before travel to the U.S. When you return from your trip overseas:

  • Get a viral test three to five days after travel.
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
  • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

Ways to stay healthy if you travel

The CDC recommends travelers take the following precautions:

Stay up to date on all the latest information on COVID-19. For Department of Defense updates for the military community regarding the virus that causes COVID-19, view the following sites:

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