Recommendations To Help Reduce Risk Of Covid-19 Exposure Before, During, and After Travel

Recommendations PRIOR TO TRAVEL

During the week prior to your departure from campus, the following steps are recommended:

  • Minimize in-person interactions as much as possible and avoid eating at restaurants and bars (these have been associated with increased spread of COVID-19)
  • 2-3 days prior to travel, get a COVID-19 test on-campus (this will allow for you to receive the results by the time you travel).
    • Some states or countries will want evidence of a negative COVID test within 48-72 hours of travel.  If you are on/near campus you can arrange for your last surveillance test to be 24-36 hours before you travel.
    • Prior to travel, it is recommended that students get information about any restrictions for the location(s) where they are going.
  • After getting your COVID-19 test, increased adherence to the basic guidelines are crucial.
    • Wear face coverings
    • Keep at least 6 feet apart from others
    • Avoid touching your face
    • Frequently wash your hand

Recommendations DURING TRAVEL

Many students will travel by bus, airplane, train, or taxi and will need to pass through large public terminals and enclosed public or private spaces to reach their final destinations. The following recommendations are advised to reduce risks:

  • Keep at least 6 feet apart from others
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Wear a face covering at all timesWe recommend wearing a disposable face cover over a fabric face cover – this will allow for changing the disposable face cover during each portion of travel.
  • Eating at restaurants and bars has been associated with increased spread of COVID-19. Avoid restaurants when possible (including food and beverage services in airport, bus, or train terminals)If you need to get food while traveling, order your food with your mask on, then wash your hands and eat in a less crowded area where you have 6 ft of distance between yourself and others.
  • When traveling by public conveyance (airplane, bus, train):
    • Try to wear your face covering for the entire journey
    • Limit (or if possible, avoid) eating or drinking onboard
    • Liberally use hand sanitizer when touching other surfaces (especially before eating or drinking anything)


Many students will be in close proximity to friends, family members, or loved ones upon arrival at their destination.  The following recommendations are advised to reduce risks.

  • After getting off the plane/train/bus, find an area to wash your hands (be sure to include your forearms) and put on a new disposable face covering over your fabric mask
  • If possible, change the top layer of clothing (i.e. pack an extra shirt of sweatshirt in your backpack or carry-on)
  • Wear a face covering at all times (this is also recommended for individuals you will be in contact with after your arrival)
  • When possible, keep at least 6 feet apart from others
  • If possible, avoid hugging, kissing, and holding hands
  • Frequently wash your hands or use hand sanitizer

Information About COVID-19 Testing Upon Arrival

There is limited benefit to getting a COVID-19 test upon arrival at your destination because the incubation period of the virus is 2-14 days (this is the period of time it can take before the virus is detectable by test). Testing 5-7 days after arriving at your destination would be of some benefit (though it doesn't guarantee you won't be one of the few that converts 7-14 days after exposure).

Recommendations for Those Sharing a Living Space with Someone Who Recently Traveled

For the health and safety of all individuals within a shared living space, the following recommendations are strongly advised:

  • Wear face coverings during all interactions
  • Keep at least 6 feet apart from others in the household
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Frequently wash your hands
  • Limit errands. Family members should leave only when absolutely necessary (i.e. going to the grocery store, pharmacy, or medical appointments that cannot be delayed)
  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, or eating utensils. Non-disposable food service items used should be handled with gloves and washed with dish soap and hot water or in a dishwasher.
  • If you must leave the house, try to use forms of transportation that minimize close contact with others (e.g., biking, walking, driving alone).
  • Maintain as much physical distance as possible. For example, avoid hugging, kissing, or sharing food or drinks.
  • When possible, limit interaction with each other to areas that are ventilated and allow for social distancing. *Recirculated air can increase risk (open windows and doors may reduce risk)
  • Regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as tabletops, door handles, faucets/toilet handles, refrigerator doors, etc.).
  • Avoid placing toothbrushes directly on counter surfaces since sinks could be an infection source

Tips for Supporting the Immune System

Students often get sick during or immediately after finals. This isn't a coincidence or simply bad luck. Lack of sleep and prolonged levels of hightened stress suppress the immune system and leave the body more vulverable to viruses and infections. As we think of additional ways to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, the following recommendations are encouraged. 

  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Try waking up at the same time everyday to help regulate circadian rhythms.
  • Get fresh air and ten minutes of movement each day.
  • Get your Vitamin D (either sunlight or supplement)
  • Reduce stress levels. There are a number of practices that can reduce stress.
    • Meditation
    • Going for a walk or engaging in movement
    • Gratitude/Breathing Practice: think of three things you are grateful for and then take three deep breaths
  • Take a break from the screenThere are apps that allow the user to shut off Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or other social media sites for a period of time.