As of 12:01 am EDT May 12, 2023, noncitizen nonimmigrant air passengers no longer need to show proof of being fully vaccinated with an accepted COVID-19 vaccine to board a flight to the United States. See more information.

What is COVID-19?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. The virus spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets and small particles produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. The virus spreads easily in crowded or poorly ventilated indoor settings.

People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms  – ranging from no or mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2–14 days after exposure to the virus. Possible symptoms include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, new loss of taste and smell, sore throat, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Who can get COVID-19?

Anyone can get COVID-19. However, some people are more likely than others to get very sick if they get COVID-19. These include people who are older, are immunocompromised, or have certain disabilities, or have underlying health conditions.  Vaccination, past infection, and timely access to testing and treatment can help protect you from getting very sick from COVID-19.

Can I travel if I recently had COVID-19?

Yes, you can travel once you have ended isolation. Check CDC guidance for additional precautions, including testing and wearing a mask around others. If you recently had COVID-19 and are recommended to wear a mask do not travel on public transportation such as airplanes, buses, and trains if you will not be able to wear a  when around others indoors for the full duration of your trip.

What can travelers do to prevent COVID-19?

Get up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before you travel and take steps to protect yourself and others. Consider wearing a mask in crowded or poorly ventilated indoor areas, including on public transportation and in transportation hubs. Take additional precautions if you were recently exposed to a person with COVID-19. Don’t travel while sick.

If you have a weakened immune system or are at increased risk for severe disease talk to a healthcare professional before you decide to travel.  If you travel, take multiple prevention steps to provide additional layers of protection from COVID-19, even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines. These include improving ventilation and spending more time outdoors, avoiding sick people, getting tested for COVID-19 if you develop symptoms, staying home if you have or think you have COVID-19, and seeking treatment if you have COVID-19.

Consider getting travel insurance in case you need medical care abroad.

Consider getting a COVID-19 test if you:

  • Develop COVID-19 symptoms before, during, or after travel.
  • Will be traveling to visit someone who is at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.
  • Were in a situation with a greater risk of exposure during travel (e.g., in an indoor, crowded space like an airport terminal while not wearing a mask).

If you traveled and feel sick, particularly if you have a fever, talk to a healthcare professional, and tell them about your recent travel.

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