COVID-19: Travel Advisories

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CDC: COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Country

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have been working in close collaboration to keep travelers and health care providers informed about travel restrictions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.  The CDC is also working closely with the Department of State to provide updated travel advisories.  Please note, that this site only addresses travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  For other travel-related restrictions, please visit the CDC website, noted below. This page is dedicated to providing the latest updates regarding those advisories as provided by the leading governmental agencies.  Additionally, the information is targeted at returning American citizens, lawful permanent residents, and their families who have been in one of the countries listed below in the past 14 days.  According to the CDC individuals will be allowed to enter the United States, but will be redirected to one of 13 airports. According to information posted on the CDC, foreign nationals who have visited Iran, China, European Schengean area, United Kingdom, or the Republic of Ireland will not be allowed re-entry. 

The CDC has updated their warning system, as depicted below:

The following information was obtained from the CDC's website:

Level 3 Travel Health Notice:  Widespread ongoing transmission with restrictions on entry to the United States: 

CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to the following destinations. Most foreign nationals who have been in one of these countries during the previous 14 days will not be allowed to enter the United States.

Level 3 Travel Health Notice: Widespread ongoing transmission without restrictions on entry to the United States

CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to all global destinations:

Level 2 Travel Health Notice: Ongoing community transmission

CDC recommends that older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel to most global destinations.

Level 1 Travel Health Notice: Limited community transmissionCDC recommends travelers practice usual health precautions recommended for their destination.

According to the CDC, if an individual has traveled to any Level 3 areas in the past 14 days, the person should be instructed to stay home for 14 days from the time they return from the area, monitor their health, and practice social distancing. Patients should be educated that social distancing means avoiding crowded areas, group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from individuals. The individual should be instructed to report cough, dyspnea, or fever. They should be instructed to call ahead prior to presenting to a medical facility and inform the facility of travel-related exposure. 

Individuals who must travel are encouraged to utilize basic protective precautions, including careful handwashing.  Handwashing should be performed for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol is an acceptable substitute if soap and water are not available. Travelers should avoid contact with sick individuals and avoid traveling if ill. Travelers should also avoid touching the eyes, nose, and face with unwashed hands. Individuals at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, such as the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions should discuss any travel related plans with their health care provider before proceeding. The WHO has made an educational video that can be shared with individuals to provide education regarding prevention of COVID-19 transmission.

Specific Travel Restrictions within the United States:

Individuals should practice the above precautions regarding limiting travel even within the United States. The CDC has issued a Domestic Travel Advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut urging residents refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately.  This Domestic Travel Advisory does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply.  

Residents of the United States are also being encouraged to avoid domestic travel and many restaurants, stores, and schools are closed temporarily. The POTUS issued Coronovirus Guidelines for America, which are posted on the CDC's website. 

The CDC has also issued specialtravel considerations for those that still choose to travel or for those that are considering traveling during this time.

* The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisoryexternal icon, advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.

Specific Travel Restrictions Regarding Cruise Ships:

On April 9, 2020, the CDC Announced modifications and extensions of the existing no sail orders for all cruise ships, which can be found HERE.

Julie Grishaw, ACNP

Senior Editor, McGraw-Hill Education

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