Emergency Travel Order


Updated 6/15/2021
Based on data as of 6/14/2021

In response to the changing dynamics of COVID-19 transmission across the United States, and to support Chicago’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, the City issued a Travel Order in July 2020, applicable to anyone coming into the City of Chicago from designated states with a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19. Anyone traveling from a state on the Orange list was directed to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago or quarantine for a 10-day period. On June 1, 2021, for the first time since July 2020, no states were at the 15 cases per 100,000 residents threshold for the orange tier. Chicagoans are urged to get fully vaccinated before they travel.

COVID Travel Order Heat map

Yellow list: Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Indiana, North Dakota, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Nevada, Massachusetts, Wyoming, Montana, North Carolina, Utah, New York, Alaska, Vermont, Ohio, Idaho, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, New Mexico, Iowa, Texas, Missouri, Maryland, South Dakota, Arkansas, Virginia, Nebraska, Kansas, South Carolina, Mississippi, Hawaii, New Jersey, California, Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, West Virginia, Maine, Florida, Minnesota, and Washington, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico


 

 

Travel Advisory

Required upon arrival in Chicago

Orange

At or above 15.0 avg. daily cases per 100k residents

Avoid travel

10-day quarantine
or

Negative test result (no earlier than 72 hours prior to arrival) with strict masking, social distancing and avoidance of in-person gatherings

or

Be fully vaccinated, as defined as two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or two weeks after one dose of a single-dose vaccine and not have symptoms. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.

Yellow

From 0.0 < 15.0 avg. daily cases per 100k residents

Delay travel until fully vaccinated

No quarantine or test required. Adhere to masking rules: Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.


Steps to follow the Order:
Download Fact Sheet in: English | Spanish

  1. When planning, review the CDPH Travel Order state list. Avoid all non-essential travel.
  2. Prior to arrival, Orange list travelers must receive a negative COVID-19 test result no earlier than 72 hours prior to arrival and have proof of negative results OR plan to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.
  3. Upon arrival in Chicago, Orange list travelers should maintain a copy of negative test result with them while in Chicago or quarantine for 10 days if they chose not to take a test.

Frequently Asked Questions

Download FAQ list English | Spanish

Chicago Emergency Travel Order State by State List

This list is updated every other Tuesday based on that Monday's data. It goes into effect the following Friday at 12:01 am.

Chicago Emergency Travel Order State by State List

The list is updated every other Tuesday and goes into effect the following Friday at 12:01 am.

Yellow States Daily Infections per 100k
Virgin Islands 12.8
Colorado 10.5
Wyoming 9.7
Missouri 9.2
Utah 8.5
Washington 7.4
Arkansas 7.2
Florida 7.2
Nevada 6.2
Oregon 6.0
Kentucky 5.8
Arizona 5.8
Montana 5.7
Indiana 4.8
Idaho 4.6
Alabama 4.4
Louisiana 4.2
North Dakota 4.2
Texas 4.1
Mississippi 4.1
West Virginia 4.0
Kansas 3.8
Hawaii 3.7
Maine 3.6

Oklahoma

3.6

South Carolina

3.5

Georgia

3.4

Delaware

3.4
Pennsylvania 3.1
New Mexico 2.9
Ohio 2.9
New Jersey 2.7
Alaska 2.8
Minnesota 2.7

Illinois

2.7

Tennessee

2.6

Michigan

2.6

New York

2.5
Iowa 2.5
North Carolina 2.4
Rhode Island 2.0
Wisconsin 1.8
Massachusetts 1.6
Virginia 1.6
Puerto Rico 1.6

Maryland

1.6

New Hampshire

1.6

Nebraska

1.5

South Dakota

1.4
California 1.4
Vermont 1.3
Connecticut 1.3
District of Columbia 1.3

Data as of 6/14/21

*Methodology: (cases over last 7 days / 7 days) / (state census population / 100,000) = Daily New Cases per 100K

Data Source: CDC COVID Data Tracker

Archive lists:

This updated Order goes into effect on Friday, January 15, 2021 at 12:01AM.

The Order applies to individuals arriving in the City of Chicago, while they are in the city. The city limits are defined in this interactive map.

  • A state is designated Yellow if it has a case rate lower than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, per day, over a 7-day rolling average.
  • A state is designated Orange if it has a case rate of 15 or more new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, per day, over a 7-day rolling average.

The list of states will be amended every other Tuesday, with the Order effective for those states the following Friday (three days later).

Individuals found in violation of the Order are subject to fines of $100 - $500 per day, up to $7,000.

The Order will be communicated through messaging on highways, at airports and train stations, on the City’s website, and through social media. Hotels and short-term rentals will be asked to communicate the Order to guests.

Given the volatility of the daily data reports and the disruption that adding a neighboring state to the travel ordinance causes, neighboring states will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Individuals who live outside Chicago but regularly commute into Chicago for work can continue to do so as usual if they have not traveled to a high incidence state. If they have traveled to an Orange list state, they are subject to the “essential worker” conditions and requirements for Chicago residents set forth in this FAQ in order to not have to quarantine or receive a negative test.

Those who are fully vaccinated and have not had symptoms are exempt from the orange tier quarantine / test requirement.

Fully vaccinated is defined as being at least two weeks after receipt of the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or at least two weeks after receipt of one dose of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Fully vaccinated travelers must monitor their health for 14 days after travel and if they experience symptoms potentially consistent with COVID-19, they must self-isolate until clinical evaluation and COVID testing. They should also continue to adhere to all recommended protective measures including wearing a mask while traveling on planes, buses, trains or other public transportation, practicing hand hygiene, and avoiding crowds.

Unvaccinated children travelling with fully vaccinated people are not exempt from the travel order and must follow pre-arrival testing/quarantine requirements.

There are no travel restrictions within Illinois. However, non-essential travel to the areas of high incidence is discouraged. Areas of high incidence are determined by IDPH and can be found here. If essential travel is needed to these areas, follow the prevention techniques such as using a face covering, frequent hand washing/sanitization, and maintaining social distancing. If you feel sick, you should refrain from all travel and stay at home, unless seeking medical treatment.

The Order does not apply to any individual passing through designated states for less than 24 hours in the course of travel.

The Order does not apply to any individual passing through designated states for less than 24 hours in the course of travel.

If your final destination is a state on the orange list, then you must follow the Order, even if you are in that state for less than 24 hours. The Order does not apply if you are traveling through an orange state and are in the state for less than 24 hours.

Effective January 26, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require all air passengers entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days​. Airlines must confirm the negative test result or proof of recovery for all passengers two years of age and over prior to boarding. ​Airlines must deny boarding of passengers who do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery. Please see CDC’s FAQ for answers to questions about the new requirement for proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States.

Effective January 26, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require all air passengers entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days​. Airlines must confirm the negative test result or proof of recovery for all passengers two years of age and over prior to boarding. ​Airlines must deny boarding of passengers who do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery. Please see CDC’s FAQ for answers to questions about the new requirement for proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States.

Once the state is moved to the Yellow list (which would be announced on a Tuesday) you can end your quarantine, effective immediately. Additionally, there are no longer any testing requirements for those arriving in Chicago from that state, effective immediately. All individuals are still expected to follow the latest public health guidance for Chicago while in the city.

If a state moves from the Yellow list to the Orange list (which would be announced on a Tuesday) that state will officially be added to the Order effective Friday, 12:01AM of that week. If you arrive in Chicago before that date/time, you have no quarantine or testing requirements. If you arrive after that date/time, you must either quarantine for 10-days or receive a negative test result no earlier than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago or be fully vaccinated is defined as being at least two weeks after receipt of the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or at least two weeks after receipt of one dose of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

If you were in an Orange list state, unless you are traveling through, you must follow the Order, even if you spent time in a yellow state for a period after being in the designated state and before arriving in Chicago.

Travelers coming to Chicago for non-essential business and residents returning to Chicago from an orange state must adhere to the Order, subject to the limited exemptions outlined in the ‘Exemptions tab’.

Yes, all travelers arriving on or after the effective date of January 15, 2021, are required to follow the Order, subject to the limited exemptions outlined in the ‘Exemptions tab’.

If you are traveling from an Orange list state and choose to not do a test, you must quarantine for a period of 10 days or the duration of your presence in Chicago, whichever is shorter, or receive a negative test upon arrival in Chicagr. Or, you must be fully vaccinated, defined as being at least two weeks after receipt of the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or at least two weeks after receipt of one dose of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

The Order does not apply to individuals changing planes at a Chicago airport, changing trains at a Chicago station, or traveling directly to a suburban municipality or otherwise out of the city limits. However, all individuals are expected to follow the latest public health guidance for Chicago while in the city, including in the airport terminals and railroad stations. This includes the mandate that individuals over the age of 2 wear masks or face coverings at all times.

No. Household members who did not travel from an orange state are not required to quarantine or receive a negative COVID-19 test.

All travelers returning to Chicago from the designated states must follow the Order unless deemed an essential worker and subject to the limited exemptions outlined in the ‘Exemptions tab’.

Any employer with an employee subject to the Order because the employee departed the state on or after January 15, 2021 for non-work-related travel, and subject themselves to quarantine upon return, should consult the City's Anti-Retaliation Ordinance, Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) in determining the appropriate response.  If the employer is covered under the FFCRA and if the employee is unable to work or telework due to one of the specified COVID-related reasons in the FFCRA, the employee is likely eligible for up to two weeks of paid leave under the FFCRA.

Yes, the Order applies to all travel unless outlined in the “exemptions” tab.

If you are in an Orange state for fewer than 72 hours, you still must have a negative test result, complete a 10-day quarantine upon your return, or be fully vaccinated as defined as being at least two weeks after receipt of the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or at least two weeks after receipt of one dose of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. The test cannot be taken in Chicago prior to your travel. If you arrive in Chicago and are still waiting for the test result, you must quarantine until you receive it.  

The Order does not apply to individuals picking up or dropping off at Chicago airports, Chicago train station, or traveling directly to a suburban municipality or otherwise out of the city limits. However, all individuals are expected to follow the latest public health guidance for Chicago while in the city, including in the airport terminals and railroad stations. This includes the mandate that individuals over the age of 2 wear masks or face coverings at all times.

Travelers from orange states who choose the testing option should receive a COVID-19 test no more than 72 prior to arrival in Chicago. Contact the local health department to learn more about testing options in each state. You can also be tested once you arrive in Chicago, however you must quarantine until you receive a negative test result.

If you are traveling to or from an orange list state, travelers must receive a negative test result no earlier than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago. You can also be tested once you arrive in Chicago, however you must quarantine until you receive a negative test result. If you are traveling to a Yellow list state, you do not need to have a test or quarantine.

Turnaround time for COVID-19 test results varies across the country. Research testing turnaround timelines prior to travel. If you arrive in Chicago and are still waiting for results, you must quarantine until you receive your results.

If you are traveling from an Orange list state and receive a negative test result no earlier than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago, you do not need to quarantine.

Testing information does not need to be submitted, but please keep a copy of your results with you while in Chicago.

If you receive a positive test for COVID-19, you most likely DO currently have an active COVID-19 infection and can give the virus to others. Stay home and follow CDPH guidance on steps to protect yourself and others. Do not travel unless seeking medical care.

If you test negative for COVID-19, you most likely DO NOT currently have an active COVID-19 infection and no longer need to quarantine. However, you must continue to wear a mask when in public settings and practice social distancing. You should keep monitoring symptoms and follow CDPH guidance on steps to protect yourself and others.

The test must be a diagnostic test. An antibody test does not qualify.

Children under the age of 18 are not exempt from the travel order and must follow pre-arrival testing/quarantine requirements.

If you are in an orange state for fewer than 72 hours, you still must take a test within 72 hours of returning to Chicago or complete a 10-day quarantine upon your return. The test cannot be taken in Chicago before your travel. If you arrive in Chicago and are still waiting for the test result, you must quarantine until you receive it.  

Quarantine helps prevent the spread of disease before a person knows they are sick, including if a traveler has been infected with the virus but does not have symptoms. Under this Order, quarantine means staying at a single designated home or dwelling for 10 days before doing any activities outside of the home or dwelling. People in quarantine should separate themselves from others as much as possible and check themselves for symptoms. Additional requirements under quarantine include:

  • The individual must not be in public or otherwise leave the dwelling that they have identified as suitable for their quarantine, unless seeking medical care.
  • If seeking medical care or testing, or when traveling to or from the airport, train station, or bus station (if applicable), a face covering must be worn, and public transportation must not be used.
  • Food and other needed supplies must be delivered to the individual’s dwelling; the individual may not leave the premises to acquire supplies.
  • The traveling individual or family group should be situated in separate quarters with a separate bedroom and, if possible, separate bathroom facility from non-traveling household members.
  • The individual must self-monitor for symptoms potentially consistent with COVID-19. 

Yes. All travelers returning to Chicago from the designated states must follow the Order unless deemed an essential worker and subject to the limited exemptions outlined in the ‘Exemptions tab’.

For purposes of the Order and this FAQ, “essential workers” are not subject to the mandatory self-quarantine if their travel is for work purposes under the following circumstances:

(a) if a non-resident of Chicago, is traveling from a designated state to Chicago for the primary purpose of carrying out their primary work in Chicago, and who needs to be physically present in Chicago in order to carry out that primary work, with identification issued by their employer, or

(b) if a resident of Chicago, is returning from a designated state, and was in the designated state for the primary purpose of carrying out their primary work in that state, and who needed to be physically present in that state in order to carry out that primary work, with identification issued by their employer.

An essential worker whose travel is for non-work purposes is subject to the Order and is not covered by this exception.

An “essential worker” is a person who works in critical infrastructure as designated by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. “Essential worker” includes any state, local, and federal officials and employees traveling in their official capacities on government business, including military service.

Essential workers traveling for work purposes are subject to the following requirements:

  • Essential workers should avoid any non-essential interactions until the quarantine period has ended. They must limit their activities to work-related activities and functions that directly support their work-related activities and avoid public spaces as much as possible.
  • Essential workers should monitor temperature and signs of symptoms, wear a face covering when in public, maintain social distance, and clean and disinfect workspaces.
  • Essential workers are required, to the extent possible, to avoid extended periods in public, contact with strangers, and large congregate settings.

Exceptions to the Order for personal travel will be permitted for travel for medical care and parental shared custody. The Commissioner of Health may additionally grant an exemption based upon an organization’s or business’s testing and other control policies or in extraordinary circumstances, which warrant an exception from mandatory quarantine, subject to the terms and conditions applied to essential workers or terms and conditions otherwise imposed by the Commissioner in the interest of public health.

Students who commute regularly to Chicago for school from designated states are exempted from the Order, but should follow the same guidance as essential workers traveling for work purposes:

  • Avoid any non-essential interactions. Limit activities to school-related activities and functions and avoid public spaces as much as possible.
  • Monitor temperature and signs of symptoms, wear a face covering when in public, maintain social distance, and clean and disinfect school spaces.
  • Avoid extended periods in public, contact with strangers, and large congregate settings.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days, you are exempt from the Travel Order as long as you have completed your 10-day isolation (from start of symptoms and/or positive test), have a documented positive test, and remain asymptomatic during your travel. 

Individuals who live in an orange list state but regularly commute to Chicago for work can continue to do so, but should monitor their temperature and signs of symptoms, wear a face covering when in public, maintain social distancing and clean and disinfect workspaces. If commuting individuals (including essential workers) have travel to an orange list state for personal travel, they must follow the Order. If an essential worker commuter travels to a high-risk state for work, they are exempt from the Order, but should monitor their temperature and signs of symptoms, wear a face covering when in public, maintain social distancing and clean and disinfect workspaces. 

Individuals who live in Chicago but regularly commute to an orange list state can continue to do so, but should monitor their temperature and signs of symptoms, wear a face covering when in public, maintain social distancing and clean and disinfect workspaces. If commuting individuals (including essential workers) have traveled to an orange list state other than their work state for personal travel, they must follow the Order. If an essential worker commuter travels to a high-risk state for work, they are exempt from the Order, but should monitor their temperature and signs of symptoms, wear a face covering when in public, maintain social distancing and clean and disinfect workspaces. 

To be in alignment with new CDC guidance, those who are fully vaccinated and have not had symptoms are exempt from the orange tier quarantine / pre-arrival test requirement. Fully vaccinated is defined as being at least two weeks after receipt of the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or at least two weeks after receipt of one dose of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Fully vaccinated travelers must monitor their health for 14 days after travel and if they experience symptoms potentially consistent with COVID-19, they must self-isolate until clinical evaluation and COVID testing.. They should also continue to adhere to all recommended protective measures including wearing a mask while traveling on planes, buses, trains or other public transportation, practicing hand hygiene, and avoiding crowds.

Unvaccinated children travelling with fully vaccinated people are not exempt from the travel order and must follow pre-arrival testing/quarantine requirements.

Students who commute regularly to Chicago for school from designated states are exempted from the Order, but should follow the same guidance as essential workers traveling for work purposes:

  • Avoid any non-essential interactions. Limit activities to school-related activities and functions and avoid public spaces as much as possible.
  • Monitor temperature and signs of symptoms, wear a face covering when in public, maintain social distance, and clean and disinfect school spaces.
  • Avoid extended periods in public, contact with strangers, and large congregate settings.

Students are expected to follow the Order and should ask their school for guidance.  CDPH is working with institutions of higher education to provide various acceptable options.

Those accompanying students to college from high-incidence states should follow the same guidelines as anyone else traveling inbound to Chicago from orange states under the new order.