The U.S. federal government has not imposed the type of strict regulations that many countries have. The “essential travel” requirements are in place if you are trying to enter the U.S. by land, commuter rail, ferry, or boating. However, you can enter the U.S. by air for any reason without any type of quarantine requirement. For a complete discussion of what constitutes essential travel see our post on “Coronavirus Travel Issues”. The Travel Issues post also covers a wide range of additional issues that are applicable to both the U.S. and Canada so be sure to read it after finishing this post.
We have links to numerous resources at the end of this post to help you get more information on the topics we discuss here.
U.S. State Travel Restrictions
Each of the 50 US. states have enacted their own regulations on travel within that state. Many now require facemasks in most public places. Some states have at times imposed quarantine requirements if you come from another state they consider high risk. To determine whether a trip you are planning will be limited by covid-19, you will need to examine the regulations for each state you wish to travel through. The rules are changing constantly so make sure you have current information. We have links to state and province Coronavirus websites at the end of this post.
Arriving in the U.S. by Plane
The essential travel restrictions do not apply if you are flying into the U.S. You can fly into the United States for any reason including recreational travel. Canadians cannot drive across the border into the US, but they can fly into the country.
The U.S. is no longer funneling international flights to a limited list of airports, and they have eliminated the temperature check and health assessment.
You are not required to quarantine after landing in the U.S. unless it is required by the state or area you are visiting.
Airlines will prevent anyone who is showing symptoms of the virus from getting on a plane – including U.S. or Canadian citizens. Carriers are required to complete a basic health assessment of every passenger.
U.S. Government Coronavirus Websites
Below are some of the United State government websites which should display the latest guidance on Covid-19 and any rules and restrictions in place for travelers.
- Department of Homeland Security Covid-19 coronavirus website
- Links to the Health Department for every U.S. state. These websites will detail the rules to travel within a state including quarantine and facemask requirements.
- State Department Covid-19 coronavirus webpage
- U.S. Customs and Border Patrol website
- The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) is the primary source of COVID-19 coronavirus medical information
- You can read the official document spelling out U.S. coronavirus travel restrictions
- List of Essential Services that determine if you can cross the border.