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State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health

April 2, 2021

All Californians

Travel Advisory

This Guidance is no longer in effect and is for historical purposes only. 

Travel Advisory

Updated April 2, 2021

CDPH and the CDC recommend delaying travel until persons are fully vaccinated, because travel increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Travel threatens to exacerbate community spread within and beyond California —particularly because travel itself (especially the use of shared conveyances in air, bus, or rail travel) can increase a person's chance of spreading and getting COVID-19, including Sars-CoV2 variants of concern.

With over 18 million vaccine doses administered statewide, vaccines have made a difference and overall disease trends have improved dramatically over the past ten weeks. Case rates, test positivity, transmission rate, hospitalizations and ICU admissions have all declined since the winter surge. While we have made great progress, many states and countries are experiencing increasing levels of transmission, and it is imperative that California continue to take steps necessary to curb the spread of COVID-19 and contain new sources of infection until we can achieve higher levels of vaccination in California and beyond. The State is issuing the following recommendations, which supersede the Travel Advisory issued on April 1, 2021:

  • All travelers arriving in or returning to California from other states or countries should follow CDC travel guidance
  • All travelers who test positive or develop symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate and follow public health recommendations.
  • Fully vaccinated travelers:
    • are less likely to get and spread COVID-19, and can travel safely within the United States and California 
    • should follow CDC travel guidance, and are not required to test or quarantine before or after travel unless they have symptoms concerning for COVID-19 disease.

Non-Essential Travel of unvaccinated persons [i]
  1. Except in connection with essential travel[ii], Californians should avoid non-essential travel outside of California, to other states or countries unless they are fully vaccinated. Avoiding travel reduces the risk of virus transmission, including by reducing the risk that new sources of infection and, potentially, new virus strains will be introduced to California.
  2. Non-essential travelers from other states or countries, are strongly discouraged from entering California, and should adhere to the quarantine procedures set forth below.
  3. Non-essential travelers who are not fully vaccinated should get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before travel, and get tested 3-5 days upon arrival to their destination. They should stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if their test is negative.
  4. Non-essential travelers who are not fully vaccinated and don't get tested should stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.

A Local Health Officer may determine if and when the situation within the Local Health Officer's jurisdiction warrants measures that are more restrictive than this statewide advisory, and retains authority to implement such measures.

CDPH will update these recommendations as more people are vaccinated, as rates of COVID-19 change, and as additional scientific evidence becomes available.

i "Non-essential travel" includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature

ii "Essential travel" is travel associated with the operation, maintenance, or usage of critical infrastructure or otherwise required or expressly authorized by law (including other applicable state and local public health directives), including work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security. Persons who routinely cross state or country borders for essential travel do not need to quarantine.