Travel Guidance

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Updated 5/26/2020 at 8:16 AM 

Travel Guidance

COVID-19 is still spreading across our Wisconsin communities. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick. We recommend Wisconsinites cancel or postpone all travel, including travel within the state.

We also want you to know that international (overseas) and U.S. travel is risky, and the level of risk in the community you wish to travel to may change quickly. If you must travel, you should prepare for:

  • Changing travel restrictions
  • Staying in-place if you get sick, and planning for the impact of being away from your home for an extended period of time
  • Some cities and counties in Wisconsin may have you stay at home, or self-quarantine for 14 days after your travel

Considerations for all travelers

Before traveling away from your local community, consider the following:

  • Is COVID-19 spreading where you’re going? You can get infected while traveling.
  • Is COVID-19 spreading in your community? Even if you don’t have symptoms, you can spread COVID-19 to others while traveling.
  • Will you or those you are traveling with be within 6 feet of others during or after your trip? This increases your risk of getting infected and infecting others.
  • Are you or other travelers at high risk for becoming hospitalized from COVID-19?
  • Do you live with someone who is at high risk for becoming hospitalized from COVID-19?
  • Does the city or county where you live or visit require you to stay home for 14 days after traveling?

 Do not travel if you are sick, or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Do not travel with someone who is sick.

CDC’s Considerations for Travelers page has more information about travel.

Travel within Wisconsin

We do not recommend travel between your private homes within the state. For example, do not travel to seasonal homes or rental cabins. You may spread COVID-19 to areas with few doctors or hospitals. This is for your safety and wellbeing as well as the safety of our rural counties and tribal communities.

Several counties in Wisconsin have issued travel advisories for seasonal and second homeowners. If you must travel, be sure to check for area-specific safety updates and closures. You may need to stay in place, or self-quarantine, for 14 days.

Bring everything you will need, including your own groceries, medications, and toiletries. You should practice enhanced personal hygiene at all times.

Important: Do not travel if you or someone in your home is sick with symptoms of COVID-19.

Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions

If you are at risk for serious illness from COVID-19, you should reduce your chances of catching the virus. You should avoid all travel both inside and outside of your community.

International or domestic travel

International or cruise ship travel is not safe because COVID-19 is spreading all over the world. You should avoid all non-essential travel to all global destinations. If you travel, prepare for delays in returning home.

If you travel

If, despite these recommendations, you must travel, we recommend you do the following:

  • Check the state or city health department travel guidance for your visit and along your route. Plan to keep checking for updates as you travel.
  • State or city governments may enact travel restrictions, such as stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, mandated quarantine upon arrival, or even state or border closures.
  • Talk with your doctor before you go, especially if you are 65 years or older or have medical issues.
  • Do a pre-trip check on your car and tires. Fewer roadside services may be available and you may become stranded if you have car troubles.
  • Clean your car, especially the steering wheel, safety belts, door handles, and the fob or keys you use to start the car. 
  • For each traveler, pack:
    • Cloth face coverings
    • Gloves
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Soap
    • Disinfectant wipes
    • A restroom break kit including: bars of soap, paper towels for drying hands and using it to open doors, toilet seat covers, hand sanitizer, and wipes when soap and water are not available.
  • Pack plenty of charging cords and external batteries for electronic devices. If your car’s navigation system contains emergency calling, enable it.
  • Pack a cooler with drinks and snacks, including high-protein foods that will not go bad.

If you need to stop for food, gas, or supplies

  • One traveler should engage with store employees.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after returning to your car.
  • Use cloth face coverings.
  • Wait to use the restroom until after you pump gas, and wash your hands before and after doing so.
  • Wear gloves while you pump gas and throw them away.

 Planning your trip

  • Call the hotel, restaurant, or rest area to make sure they are open, as many may have reduced hours. Do not rely on a website’s information.
  • Read the fine print and understand your lodging’s cancellation rules.
  • Ask about refund options for hotels or rental properties ahead of your trip.
  • Book directly with your with hotel or lodging establishment.

After you return from travel

After you return we ask you to check yourself for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days. You should check for symptoms even if you followed the recommendations above.

Stay home as much as possible to stop the spread of COVID-19 to others.

  • Check your symptoms:
    • Check your temperature twice daily
    • Write down your symptoms
    • If you develop symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath, call your doctor.
    • See the Medium risk flier for a chart you can use to log your daily symptoms.
    • See COVID-19: Monitoring for Illness for more details about self-monitoring and self-quarantine.

For everyone

Because COVID-19 is widespread in Wisconsin, everyone should reduce their contact with others by staying home when possible, practicing physical distancing, and being alert for symptoms of COVID-19.