The agency now says travelers can follow quarantine guidelines of the state or territory they're visiting or returning to.

By Alison Fox
August 24, 2020
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now advising travelers to follow local isolation guidelines of where they're visiting instead of its overall 14-day quarantine rule that was implemented earlier this year.

No longer specifying that international travelers must self-isolate as of Monday, the agency now recommends that people, “Follow state, territorial, tribal and local recommendations or requirements after travel.”

The CDC also said people should “take extra precautions” if they participate in a “higher risk” activity, including visiting “an area that is experiencing high levels of COVID-19 spread” and traveling on a cruise ship. Those precautions include staying home “as much as possible,” avoiding contact with compromised or older people, and getting tested for the virus.

“You may have been exposed to COVID-19 on your travels,” the CDC wrote in its advisory. “You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can be contagious without symptoms and spread the virus to others. You and your travel companions (including children) pose a risk to your family, friends, and community for 14 days after you were exposed to the virus.”

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Several states and cities have implemented their own mandatory quarantine measures for travelers coming from areas with high rates of COVID-19 infections. New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut require visitors from dozens of states and territories to self-isolate, Chicago has a similar quarantine order in place, and Massachusetts requires out-of-state arrivals to either show a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival or agree to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Several other states have implemented quarantine measures or testing requirements for certain visitors, including Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

While the CDC no longer specifies travelers must quarantine, the agency does recommend anyone who returns from a trip wear a mask when outside, wash their hands often and remain vigilant for symptoms of COVID-19.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram @alisonwrites.