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COVID-19 Travel Guidance for Families

View the latest guidelines from the Chicago Department of Public Health for domestic and international travel to help mitigate the spread of COVID 19.

Domestic Travel

In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the City is issuing an Emergency Travel Order applicable to anyone coming into Chicago from designated states with a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19.

Before travel, unvaccinated individuals traveling to a  high-risk (orange)  state should:

  • Get tested 1-3 days prior to departure.

While traveling:

  • ALL individuals regardless of vaccination status should wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • In Chicago, wear a mask in all indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Avoid crowds, try to stay at least 6 feet from anyone who is not traveling with you, and wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.

 After travel, unvaccinated individuals returning from a  high-risk (orange)  state should:

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days.
  • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
  • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

All travelers are advised after travel to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate and get tested if they develop symptoms. Students are not exempt from testing or quarantine requirements.

This order applies to returning Chicago residents and out-of-state visitors arriving in Chicago.

Vaccinated persons (returning travelers who live or work in Chicago, or visitors to
Chicago) who have traveled domestically are not required to quarantine if they are:

  • asymptomatic; and
  • fully vaccinated (i.e., are ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a two-dose COVID- 19 vaccine series or ≥2 weeks following receipt of 1 dose of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine).

Fully vaccinated travelers must monitor their health for 14 days after travel and if they experience symptoms potentially consistent with COVID-19, they must self-isolate until clinical evaluation and COVID testing.

International Travel

If your child traveled to a moderate, high, or very high-risk location, your child must stay home for 7-10 days after travel. Testing does not eliminate all risk, but when paired with a period of staying at home and precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer by reducing spread on planes, in airports, and at travelers’ destinations.

If you are fully vaccinated and returning from international travel, get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel & self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms. You must remain home if waiting on test results.

If you are NOT fully vaccinated, get tested with a viral test (Either PCR or antigen) 3-5 days after travel AND self-quarantine at home for a full 7 days after travel.

  • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.  If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

A Household Member Has Traveled Either Internationally or Domestically

The person who has traveled must observe the above guidance, but those who did not travel do not.
Example: If a parent traveled the parent needs to follow the CDPH travel order but the child who did not travel does not need to quarantine.

CDPH does include exceptions, such as travel for shared parental custody. CPS’s self- screener allows for exceptions.

Report COVID-19 Test Results

Members of the CPS community should self-report a positive COVID-19 test result to cps.edu/covidresults. Parents and guardians can report on behalf of their children. The CPS Contact Tracing Team does not act on secondhand reports, speculation, assumptions, or rumors.

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