CDC Drops Mandatory 14-Day Quarantine After Traveling

Ralph Ellis

August 25, 2020

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today updated its recommendations for travelers, dropping the requirement they self-quarantine 14 days after returning from nations or areas with a high concentration of coronavirus cases.

The new guidance simply says travelers should "follow state, territorial, tribal and local recommendations or requirements after travel." Those state and local governments may require travelers get tested and self-quarantine, the CDC notes.

The new guidance stresses that returning travelers do pose a risk of infecting other people for 14 days after possible exposure and urges safety measures be followed.

Anybody who returns from a trip should take safety normal precautions such as wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, and social distancing, the CDC says.

People who engaged in "higher-risk activities" should also stay home as much as possible, avoid people who are at risk of becoming infected, and consider getting tested for COVID-19. 

Higher-risk activities include visiting places with a high concentration of cases, attending a large social event such as a wedding, attending a concert or sporting event, and taking a cruise. 

"You can get COVID-19 during your travels," the CDC says. "You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to others. You and your travel companions (including children) may spread COVID-19 to other people including your family, friends, and community for 14 days after you were exposed to the virus."


CDC. "Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic"

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