Traveling does increase your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Being fully vaccinated greatly reduces your risk of getting or spreading the COVID-19 virus. Even so, there’s still a small chance you can get or spread COVID-19 after vaccination, and the risk goes up if you’re around lots of other people who may not be vaccinated. If you choose to make winter travel plans, follow these precautions to reduce your risk of getting or spreading the virus.
Pre-travel and post-travel guidance is different for unvaccinated people.
The CDC recommends delaying domestic and international travel until you are fully vaccinated.
Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to take any special precautions before or after travel. If you are unvaccinated and decide to travel, follow these steps to reduce your risk:
- Get vaccinated. Make sure you get every shot you need to complete your series - 1 shot for Johnson & Johnson, 2 shots for Pfizer and Moderna.
- At this time, third doses or boosters are not required to waive pre-or-post travel testing requirements, but if your healthcare provider recommends an additional dose, you should get one before you travel.
- If you aren’t fully vaccinated and must travel, get tested 1-3 days before traveling.
- If your test results are positive, don’t travel. Isolate yourself at home away from others for 10 days.
- When you get home from your trip, quarantine for 7 days and get tested between 3 and 5 days after you return. If you get a positive test result, isolate for 10 days from the date you arrived home.
Guidance during travel is the same for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
We know that COVID-19 can spread extremely easily, especially the Delta variant. During your travel you should:
- Wear a mask anywhere indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
- Avoid crowds whenever possible.
- Maintain six feet of distance whenever possible.
Federal rules still require mask usage when traveling by plane, train, bus, taxi, or ride-share. Masks are also required indoors at public transportation hubs such as bus stations, train stations and airports. Be sure to check the COVID-19 protocols for your airline, bus, train, or travel company, and follow those in addition to what’s listed here. Some locations may have additional requirements for travelers, make sure you know what these are before you depart.
This information is available as a printable PDF you can share with family or friends. You can also find additional travel resources from the CDC and the Washington State Department of Health.