While travel within the United States has largely returned to normal in regards to the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its requirements for international travel.
All air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than one day before entering the US.
With case counts and hospitalizations on the rise and a new variant of concern (omicron) being detected in many states, domestic travel may be impacted at some point.
For now, the CDC has a series of rules and recommendations in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Masks are required on all forms of public transportation, as well as inside travel hubs
- International travelers must show proof of a negative test
- People from foreign countries have to be fully vaccinated before arriving in the US
- General safety guidelines like washing hands regularly and maintaining social distancing should be followed
- It’s recommended to delay travel until fully vaccinated
- If you aren’t vaccinated and must travel, get tested before and after your trip
- Check the current COVID-19 situation at your destination
Do not travel if:
- You are sick
- You have been exposed to COVID-19, unless you are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days
- You tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t ended isolation (even if fully vaccinated)
- You are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test. If your test comes back positive while you are at your destination, you will need to isolate and postpone your return until it’s safe for you to end isolation. Your travel companions may need to self-quarantine.
NOTE: These conditions are subject to change.
The R.I. Department of Health recommends that all travelers follow the CDC’s travel guidance, which includes delaying travel until fully vaccinated and wearing masks at transportation hubs and on all modes of public transportation.
While health officials are encouraging people to get tested before and after traveling — especially those who are not vaccinated — anyone visiting Rhode Island from a location within the United States is not required to get tested or quarantine upon arrival.
Free asymptomatic COVID-19 screening and vaccinations are available at T.F. Green Airport’s first-floor baggage claim area from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Expedited travel tests are available for a fee. Flyers should check the specific testing requirements for their airline and destination.
All air travelers coming to Rhode Island from outside the US are required to show a negative test taken no more than one day before arrival, regardless of vaccination status. Non-US citizens must be fully vaccinated.
It’s also recommended that travelers watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days and isolate and get tested if any are experienced. People who are not fully vaccinated are urged to stay away from anyone at an increased risk for severe illness for 14 days after traveling.
Mass. officials are deferring to the CDC’s guidance when it comes to travel.
They say people who are fully vaccinated are free to travel within the United States, while encouraging those who are not vaccinated to make an appointment on vaxfinder.mass.gov.
Masks are required in certain situations like on public transportation, in rideshares and at health care facilities and nursing homes.
While the state’s travel restrictions are no longer in place, officials are encouraging people to be safe and review the CDC’s guidance when traveling outside the community.
Anyone who’s sick, tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed to someone who’s infected should not travel.
People who are fully vaccinated do not have to get tested before or after travel (unless their destination requires it) but should still follow COVID-19 safety protocols.
Those who are not vaccinated are asked to take the following precautions:
- Plan ahead and check if your airline or destination requires testing, health information, or other documentation.
- Some destinations require a viral test 1-3 days prior to travel. Visit the Connecticut Testing Locator or call 211 to locate a testing site.
- Keep a copy of your test results with you during travel in case you are asked for them.
- Anyone who develops signs/symptoms of COVID-19 prior to travel should stay home and get tested.
- Review CDC guidance for post-travel quarantine and testing.
- Get tested 3-5 days after travel AND self-quarantine at home for a full 7 days after travel.
- Continue to stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if your test is negative.
- If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
- If you do not get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for a full 10 days after travel.
- Remember to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 while in quarantine. If at any time during your quarantine you develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19, self-isolate (including away from other members of your travel party), contact a healthcare provider, and seek testing.
As for international travel, all air passengers arriving in the US must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.