Visiting the USA During the COVID-19 Pandemic
In these challenging times, the health and safety of U.S. visitors and residents is the top priority.
As you plan your trip, it is a good idea to research the latest local safety guidelines and mandates for U.S. destinations you’re considering visiting. Call ahead, or visit websites for restaurants and attractions to find out about seating and other safety measures. This way you can be prepared for and reassured by the measures being taken. Visit The USA has also compiled a list of links highlighting guidelines for U.S. states, cities, hotels and airlines.
For the most up-to-date travel policies, travelers should also review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
Here are general public health guidelines being followed in destinations across the USA.
Wear a mask. While many states and cities have their own ordinances, the CDC recommends that people wear a mask that covers the mouth and nose at all times when indoors. Wearing a mask is also recommended when you’re outdoors and physical distancing isn’t possible.
Practice physical distancing. Stay at least two meters away from people who aren’t in your travel party. Often, small shops, restaurants and attractions limit the number of customers inside to make this easier. Many museums and indoor attractions have reservation systems and signage to ensure people are spread out.
Wash your hands. Public health officials encourage regularly sanitizing and/or washing hands in soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Many attractions, restaurants and stores have hand sanitizer dispensers available. Carrying hand sanitizer with you is also recommended.
Choose your mode of transportation. On airplanes, trains and buses, masks are required since social distancing isn’t possible. Some airlines are blocking seats to limit the number of passengers. Renting a car or RV makes social distancing easier and opens up the possibility of embarking on the great American road trip.
Stay safely. Many hotels, resorts and vacation rentals are taking extra precautions by adding contactless check-in and enhanced sanitation measures. Vacation rentals and camping are other options that allow you to explore the USA.
Dine wisely. While regulations vary from one community to the next, many U.S. restaurants are taking precautions to help protect guests’ safety. Some restaurants provide a QR code for diners to scan in order to access menus on smartphones as a way to avoid high-touch surfaces. Dining at off hours will usually mean fewer people in the dining rooms. Outdoor dining, curbside pick-up and delivery options are also readily available.
Plan ahead. Try to make reservations in advance for hotel stays, car rentals, attractions and dining. Many places limit capacity, so planning ahead ensures that you’ll get the most out of your experience.