Fall Break begins October 3 for most area students, to be followed closely by the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. After many spring and summer travel plans were put on hold due to COVID-19 related restrictions, many families are considering a trip during these breaks.

Below are a few frequently asked questions and tips to help your family should you choose to travel outside of the community during Fall Break and beyond, provided by the Centers of Disease Control (CDC.gov).

How can I travel safely outside of my community?

Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. You should not travel if you are sick or have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. If you travel:

  • Avoid close contact by staying at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from anyone who is not from your household.
  • Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when in public settings.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Do not travel with someone who is sick.
  • The safest food options: drive-thru, delivery, take-out, and curbside pick-up.
  • Make sure you are up to date with your routine vaccinations, including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine.
  • Follow state and local recommendations or requirements both at your destination after you return from home from travel.

Should I wear a mask?

CDC recommends that everyone wear a mask over their nose and mouth when in public, including during travel. Masks slow the spread of COVID-19 because they help keep people who are infected from spreading respiratory droplets to others when they cough, sneeze, or talk. Medical masks and N-95 respirators are for healthcare workers and other first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Some people shouldn’t wear masks:

  • Children younger than 2 years old
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing
  • Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without help

What if I return from travel and get sick?

See CDC’s website What to Do If You Are Sick for best practices on how to handle illness and to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms.

How can I protect myself and my family when using different types of transportation during our trip?

See CDC’s website Protect Yourself When Using Transportation for best practices to use on airplanes, trains, public transportation and more.

Can traveling to visit family and friends increase my chances of getting and spreading COVID-19?

Yes. Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Before you travel, learn if COVID-19 is spreading in your local area or in any of the places you are going. Traveling to visit family may be especially dangerous if you or your loved ones are more likely to get very ill from COVID-19. People at higher risk for severe illness need to take extra precautions. For more considerations see the webpage Coronavirus in the United States—Considerations for Travelers.

Does traveling to campgrounds or camping pose any risks?

Yes. Going camping at a time when much of the United States is experiencing community spread of COVID-19 can pose a risk to you if you come in close contact with others or share public facilities (like restrooms or picnic areas) at campsites or along the trails. Exposure may be especially unsafe if you are more likely to get very ill from COVID-19 and are planning to be in remote areas, without easy access to medical care. Be sure to check to make sure that local, state, and national public parks are open, as they may be closed due to state or local regulations around COVID-19. Follow these actions when visiting a park.

Should I avoid traveling internationally?

Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. COVID-19 risk in most countries is high, and travelers should avoid nonessential travel to high-risk destinations. Travelers at increased risk for severe illness should consider postponing all travel, including essential travel, to high-risk destinations. To check a destination’s COVID-19 risk level see COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination.

Some healthcare systems are overwhelmed and there may be limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas. Many countries are implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice. If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be disrupted. If you get sick or are exposed to a person with COVID-19 during your trip, you may be isolated or quarantined and your return to the United States may be delayed.

CDC also recommends all travelers defer all cruise ship travel worldwide.

For more information about travel in the United States, visit Coronavirus and Travel in the United States.  Be safe, be smart and have fun!