Issued by U.S. Department of State
Current Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019
See a list of embassy websites for additional Covid-19 information
The Department of State has no greater responsibility than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas, including providing information to help U.S. citizens make informed decisions about traveling abroad. The ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 (also known as the Novel Coronavirus) has impacted countries differently and prompted some governments to implement new travel restrictions and policies. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization determined the COVID-19 outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Efforts to manage and contain the spread of COVID-19 have led to travel restrictions and interruptions overseas. President Trump continues to take decisive action to minimize the risk of the spread of the in the United States.
What we recommend
U.S. citizens are urged to:
- Please review the Department of State's travel advisory and country information page on Travel.state.gov and the Travelers' Health page on CDC.gov for all countries and regions where you plan to travel.
- Review information regarding COVID-19's impact and any special restrictions on our U.S. Embassy websites within our "U.S. Citizen Services" webpage.
- If you must travel to a region with active COVID-19 infections discuss your travel with your healthcare provider. Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease.
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
- For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 please see the CDC's latest recommendations.
- Follow local authority instructions.
- Closely monitor Travel.state.gov and CDC.gov for important information.
Before you travel
Due to the current public health situation, many countries have begun implementing strict screening procedures in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
- Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been in Hubei province, China in the previous 14 days may be subject to up to 14 days of quarantine.
- Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been in the rest of mainland China within the previous 14 days may be required to undergo a health screening and possible self-quarantine.
- Please read these Department of Homeland Security supplemental instructions for further details.
- U.S. citizens are encouraged to monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities. You may also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- If you travel, you should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive updates.
Presidential Proclamation on Novel Coronavirus
On Friday, January 31 President Trump signed a proclamation barring entry to the United States of most foreign nationals who traveled to China within the past 14 days. The full text of the presidential proclamation is available on the White House website. On February 29, President Trump signed a second proclamation that expanded restrictions to include all aliens who were physically present within the Islamic Republic of Iran during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. Read the full text of the proclamation here.
Passengers on Cruise Ships
U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship. CDC notes increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment. In order to curb the spread of COVID-19, many countries have implemented strict screening procedures that have denied port entry rights to ships and prevented passengers from disembarking. In some cases, local authorities have permitted disembarkation but subjected passengers to local quarantine procedures. While the U.S. government has evacuated some cruise ship passengers in recent weeks, repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities.
This is a fluid situation. CDC notes that older adults and travelers with underlying health issues should avoid situations that put them at increased risk for more severe disease. This entails avoiding crowded places, avoiding non-essential travel such as long plane trips, and especially avoiding embarking on cruise ships. Passengers with plans to travel by cruise ship should contact their cruise line companies directly for further information and continue to monitor the Travel.state.gov website and see the latest information from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/index.html.
U.S. Students Abroad
The CDC recommends institutes of higher education (IHE) consider postponing or canceling upcoming student foreign exchange programs. In addition, CDC recommends IHE consider asking current program participants to return to their home country. Students abroad may face unpredictable circumstances, travel restrictions, and challenges in returning home or accessing health care while abroad.