Staying Safe from COVID-19 While Traveling
Travel guidelines continue to evolve as new variants emerge. Monitor CDPH and CDC travel guidelines frequently for changes. The CDC recommends that anyone who is not fully vaccinated wait until they have completed their vaccination series before making plans.
If you must travel, take steps to protect yourself and others:
- If you are eligible, get fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
- Before traveling, get tested with a viral test 1–3 days before your trip.
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public.
- Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you.
The State has issued the following recommendations, which supersede the Travel Advisory issued on April 1, 2021:
- Delay travel until you’re fully vaccinated
- If you’re not fully vaccinated, but choose to travel, get tested before and after
- No matter your vaccination status, wear a mask indoors while on public transportation or in a transportation hub
- Wearing a mask outdoors while traveling is no longer required, but still recommended for unvaccinated individuals
Do NOT travel if you are sick. You could spread COVID-19 or another infection.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, get tested and wait for a negative test result before you start your trip. Even if you test negative for COVID-19, you should not travel if you’re feeling ill as you may spread another infection.
For those traveling internationally, it is imperative that you:
- Contact your office of Foreign Affairs beforehand
- Review country specific travel vaccination requirements and COVID-19 restrictions on CDC's International Travel Requirements and Recommendations webpage.
- Review airline specific travel restrictions
If you must travel, plan ahead
Here are some simple steps to follow before departing:
- Assess your risk by visiting the CDC COVID-19 Travel recommendations by destinations page.
- If you are fully vaccinated, make a digital copy of your vaccination card (such as taking a photo of your card) or download your digital vaccination record. We recommend you verify that the information on your digital vaccination record matches your physical vaccination card. Any error correction requires an average of 2 to 3 weeks to process, so we advise you do this as soon as possible.
- Protect your vaccination card by guarding it in a plastic sleeve (lamination is not recommended in case a future booster shot is needed)
- Follow the mask mandates & social distancing requirements of the destination
- Know who to contact if you develop symptoms of COVID-19 while traveling
- Wear a mask while using public transit (planes, buses, trains etc.)
- Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms upon returning
Is COVID-19 spreading where you are traveling?
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. For cases in the last 7 days by state, see https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_casesper100klast7days To see COVID risk status by country, see COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination | CDC
Are you, your travel companions, or those you are visiting at higher risk for serious illness?
Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions are more likely to get really sick if they get COVID-19. The virus can be spread among people who are not feeling any symptoms.
Can you watch for symptoms and get tested?
In the event that you must travel, it’s important to monitor yourself for symptoms for 10 days after your return and get tested if you have any symptoms. Even if you don’t develop symptoms, consider getting tested around 5 days after your return, particularly if returning from an area with more COVID-19 transmission than we have in the Bay Area, or if you engaged in activities that put you at risk for getting COVID-19. If you do any activity where you might have been exposed to COVID-19, including travel, reduce your contact with other people as much as possible for 10 days, keep your distance from others, and make extra sure that you always wear a face covering anytime you’re outside your household.
What if you've lost your vaccination card and need proof of vaccination for travel?
California Department of Public Health has announced the launch of a new Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record for Californians, intended to allow Californians who received a COVID-19 vaccination to receive a digital copy of their records. You may submit your request as follows:
- To receive a record of your COVID-19 vaccines, go to myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov.
- To receive a copy of your complete immunization history, you may submit your request at: