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CDC Announces New Shorter Quarantine Times For Travelers

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The Center For Disease Control (CDC) has officially announced that quarantine times can be reduced safely without greatly impacting the community. This means travelers could face shorter quarantine times soon.

The CDC made the recommendation that based on local circumstances, communities can choose to follow ‘alternative' guidelines with shorter quarantines that are acceptable. 

Quarantine At condo

New Quarantine Recommendations 

The CDC now states that an alternative to the 14 day quarantine are as follows:

  • Quarantine can end after day 10 without testing and if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring.
  • Quarantine can end after day 7 if a person tests negative and if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring. The test must be completed on day 5 and the person should not be released until day 7. 
traveler mask luggage

The CDC also noted that the 10 day quarantine had a 1-10% risk of transmission after quarantine and the 7 day had a 5-12% risk.

Even with testing, the CDC stood firm that no quarantine even with testing should be less than 7 days. 

U.S. States That Could Be Impacted

There has been no word from States like Hawaii who recently dropped the 14 day quarantine completely with proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

traveler mask

This has given the state a spike in tourism but some islands are now refusing to follow the testing program and reinstating the mandatory 14 day quarantine after COVID-19 cases spiked. For example, the island of Kauai now says that all passengers arriving to the island must quarantine for the full 14 days regardless of teste results. 

backpackers travelers masks

There is no word on if Hawaii will follow the CDC recommendations and reinstate the mandatory 7 day quarantine for all travelers. 

In New York, travelers can test out of quarantine if they provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test no older than 72 hours before arrival, quarantine for 3 days upon arrival and then face another test on day 3 to be released from quarantine. 

Again these travel restrictions could change if New York adopts the new CDC recommendations. 

traveler mask airport phone

The World Has Adopted CDC Guidelines

Many countries have been following the CDC for updates on how to enforce their own quarantine and prevention methods. Early on in the pandemic, the 14 day quarantine was adopted by many countries worldwide including Canada and the UK. 
Recently however, the UK adopted a  ‘test to release‘ program where travelers are able to get out of quarantine in just 5 days after testing negative for COVID-19. 


couple travelers luggage airport masks

Whether the CDC's new recommended quarantine lengths are adopted by U.S. states and countries abroad is yet to be seen. 

However, prevention and testing guidelines continue to evolve with countries all adopting their own set of entry requirements.

2021 could get even more confusing as some countries begin to vaccinate their population within the next month. Again we have yet to see any country come out with confirmed vaccination entry requirements but one thing is for sure, they're coming.  

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories

Jacquelyn Acosta

Friday 4th of December 2020

I’m wonder which country as a Canadian Citizen I’m allowed to travel for Vacation in Europe without having to Quarantine

Kashlee Kucheran

Friday 4th of December 2020

Not many. Canada was removed from the EU's safe list and almost all EU nations updated by removing entry for Canada. only Poland, Austia and Bulgaria have not yet updated and MAY still allow Canadians in. Here is a guide on this topic: (Click HERE to read)


Friday 4th of December 2020

Will Canada finally adopt this approach to test people on arrival or ask people to test after arriving so they don't need to quarantine for 14 days? What is happening now isn't clearly working and unnecessary for healthy people to quarantine. Its a much smarter move to mandate testing upon arrival and then people can just go about their lives.

Kashlee Kucheran

Friday 4th of December 2020

Personally, we hope that Canada will take the CDC's advice, only time will tell!