What to know about coronavirus (COVID-19) and travel

We know things are changing by the minute and, as travelers ourselves, it can be overwhelming to know what to do. That’s why we’ve gathered the information you need on the latest restrictions and changes, whether you have travel booked or are considering future travel. From new filters and alerts to provider cancellation policies, we can help you make travel decisions for you and your loved ones.

 

(Note: As things change, so do policies. We’ll do our best to stay on top of things, but always be sure to check with a provider directly.)

  Global Health Advisory – Level 4: Do not travel

What do you need to know

Flexible Options filter

As airlines and hotels update their policies, we’ve added two new filters that let you sort your search results by providers offering free cancellations (usually in the form of travel credits) and providers that are waiving change fees. (As always, it’s good practice to check a provider’s full policy when you book.)

 

Route-specific alerts

For those destinations that may have current travel warnings issued by authorities, we’re including alerts on our site when you search to give you a heads up. And to be extra helpful, we’ve removed flight results for those European routes that do not enter the US through approved ports of entry.

Most frequently asked questions

Both the US and Canada have issued advisories to avoid international travel due to the virus. It’s also recommended that older adults or those who have chronic medical conditions postpone all travel. If you’re not in an “at risk” group, many local authorities are still recommending you reconsider all nonessential travel as a precaution. 

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If you decide to travel, the CDC recommends limiting interactions with others for 14 days after returning.

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Due to the current health situation, many airlines and hotels are waiving change and/or cancellation fees. Find out more on KAYAK.

Learn more about airlines

Learn more about hotels

Learn more about rental cars

 

KAYAK has added Flexible Options filters on site to keep you up to date on current travel advisories and to help you stay informed about airlines and hotels waiving change and cancellation fees so you have all the information you need to make a smart decision.

Travel insurance is generally a good idea with international travel (be sure to also check coverage offered by your credit cards). However, if you’re purchasing it due to concerns related to COVID-19, be sure to read the policy carefully as rules may differ by company. It also may not widely cover cancellation or offer the travel flexibility you’re seeking. We recommend checking with your insurance provider to determine whether you are covered.

Some countries are conducting exit screening for departing passengers. Before boarding a departing flight, you may have your temperature taken.

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The Department of State has advised all citizens traveling abroad to arrange immediate return to the US unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. Entry screenings apply only to travelers arriving from some countries or regions with widespread COVID-19 (we have on-site alerts when you search these routes). Keep in mind that entry into the US is currently limited to a small number of airports.

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Federal and provincial public health leaders have advised that Canadians travelling abroad should consider returning to Canada earlier than planned as flight options become more limited. They’ve also recommended that all travellers from outside of Canada self-isolate for 14 days.

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The CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel and practicing social distancing – this means, travel is generally not encouraged. While you would be less exposed to the virus in a car than you might be on a plane or train, it’s more about what happens when you get to your destination.

US citizens and permanent residents returning from the Schengen Area of Europe, the UK, Ireland, China or Iran within 14 days of arrival may enter the US through 13 designated airports. KAYAK has removed flight results from these restricted areas that do not enter the US from one of the designated airports.

KAYAK is a search engine, not a seller, so we recommend you reach out to the airline/travel provider who completed your booking (check your credit card statement if you’re unsure). Please consider they’re likely overwhelmed with requests, so unless you’re traveling in the next few days, consider filling out an inquiry online instead. They’ll get back to you as soon as they can.

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Like with flights, KAYAK is a search engine, not a seller, so reach out to the hotel/travel provider who completed your room booking (check your credit card statement if you’re unsure). Please consider they’re likely overwhelmed with requests, so unless you’re traveling in the next few days, we recommend filling out an inquiry online. They’ll get back to you as soon as they can.

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