Canceling or Postponing Travel
Should I cancel my international trip?
CDC provides recommendations for international travel, including guidance on when to consider postponing or canceling travel. Most of the time, this guidance is provided through travel health notices and is based on the potential health risks associated with traveling to a certain destination.
Travel health notices are designated as Level 1, 2, or 3, depending on the situation in that destination. (See below for what each level means). A list of destinations with coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19) travel health notices is available at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
- Warning Level 3: CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to these destinations.
- Alert Level 2: CDC recommends older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions consider postponing nonessential travel.
- Watch Level 1: CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to destinations with, but it is important to take steps to prevent getting and spreading diseases during travel.
CDC also recommends all travelers, defer all cruise travel worldwide. This is particularly important for older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions.
If you do travel, take the following steps to help reduce your chances of getting sick:
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
- It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
Make sure you are up to date with your routine vaccinations, including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation and CDC guidance is reviewed daily and updated frequently.
Are international layovers included in CDC's recommendation to avoid nonessential travel?
Yes. Airport layovers in international destinations with a level 3 travel health notice are included in CDC’s recommendation to avoid nonessential travel. If a layover is unavoidable, CDC recommends you not leave the airport. Even if you don’t leave the airport during your layover, you may still be subject to screening and monitoring when entering the United States.
A layover is anytime you exit a plane when traveling to your final destination.