Travel increases your risk of getting COVID-19 and infecting others. For this reason, the California Department of Public Health and the CDC ask that you delay travel until you are fully vaccinated.

On this page:

Current travel recommendations

Follow the CDPH Travel Advisory

All travelers should follow the CDPH Travel Advisory. It asks that you:

If you are unvaccinated:

  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • If you must travel, get tested 1-3 days before travel, and 3-5 days after travel
  • After travel, self-quarantine for 7 days, no matter what your test results were. If you didn’t get tested, self-quarantine for 10 days.
photo of a couple who are traveling wearing masks

Non-essential travelers from other states or countries are strongly discouraged from entering California. If they do enter, they should quarantine as outlined above.

Meet U.S. travel requirements

  • All air passengers to the U.S. are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery before they can board a flight to the United States.
  • Masks are required on all forms of public transportation to and within the U.S. This includes planes, buses, trains, boats, and where you board them.

What’s considered essential travel

Some travel is considered essential and necessary. “Essential travel” is travel associated with the operation, maintenance, or usage of critical infrastructure or otherwise required or expressly authorized by law (including other applicable state and local public health directives), including:

  • Critical infrastructure (like the water supply or power grid)
  • Economic services (like banking)
  • Supply chains (like food distribution)
  • Health care and immediate medical care
  • Safety and security
  • Work and study

Why travel increases risk

When you travel, you spend more time outside your home and come into contact with people outside your household. You are near new people in airports, train stations, gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, short-term rentals, sightseeing attractions, and retail stores. These new people may be exposing you to COVID-19, or you may be unknowingly exposing them.

People arriving from other states or Californians returning from other states or countries could also introduce new strains of the coronavirus to California, which leads to more illness and death. 

Postpone non-essential travel until you are fully vaccinated to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Read CDPH’s Travel Advisory for more information.

Questions and answers