Traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic is risky and can increase the spread of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends avoiding all non-essential travel, especially international travel. Before you leave town, be sure to review state and local travel restrictions and do some research to find out if COVID-19 is spreading in your area or where you are traveling. The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its recommendations for international traffic in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak.
A systematic review of the effectiveness of international travel measures (screening, travel restrictions and border closures) in controlling pandemic influenza identified 15 studies and found that measures implemented in time could delay local transmission by a few days or weeks, and slow the spread internationally and delay the epidemic peak in isolated locations by reducing the number of planting events. If you must travel by air, the CDC and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly recommend that travelers wear masks. Private companies, such as airlines and cruise ships, have also implemented travel measures that, while also not subject to the International Health Regulations (IHR), further restrict travel during this pandemic. Despite the lack of WHO recommendations on the adoption of travel measures and given the evidence of the limited effectiveness of such measures in other contexts at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was unprecedented adoption of such measures during the initial phase of the pandemic, both nationally and internationally.
The CDC guidance on celebrating the holidays states that “postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.” Do not travel until 5 full days after your last close contact with a person with COVID-19.It's best to avoid traveling for a full 10 days after your last exposure. Compared to air travel, traveling by car is a less risky way to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fourth, models should better take into account how travel measures work in conjunction with other measures implemented simultaneously, including domestic travel measures and other public health measures. Most studies on international travel measures did not take into account domestic travel measures, which probably led to biased estimates.