Emergency Travel Order


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Updated as of 8/04/2020

On Thursday, July 2, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D., issued an Emergency Travel Order directing travelers entering or returning to Chicago from states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. This includes both Chicago residents returning from travel to a designated state, and travelers arriving in Chicago from a designated state. The Order went into effect on Monday July 6, 2020, at 12:01am. Below you will find answers to common questions regarding the Emergency Travel Order and how it applies to Chicago residents and visitors.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

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Chicago Travel Quarantine List

The list will be updated every Tuesday and go into effect the following Friday at 12:01 a.m.

 

State

Daily Infections Per 100k**

Effective Date

Mississippi

40+

July 6

Florida

40+

July 6

Louisiana

30-40

July 6

Alabama

30-40

July 6

Nevada

30-40

July 6

Georgia

30-40

July 6

Tennessee

30-40

July 6

Arizona

30-40

July 6

South Carolina

20-30

July 6

Oklahoma

20-30

July 17

Idaho

20-30

July 6

Arkansas

20-30

July 6

Texas

20-30

July 6

Missouri

20-30

July 31

California

20-30

July 6

North Carolina

15-20

July 6

Wisconsin

15-20

July 31

Nebraska

15-20

July 31

Puerto Rico

15-20

August 4

North Dakota

15-20

July 31

Iowa

10-15

July 17*

Maryland

10-15

 

Utah

10-15

July 6*

Alaska

10-15

 

New Mexico

10-15

 

Kansas

10-15

July 24*

Kentucky

10-15

 

Illinois

10-15

 

Virginia

10-15

 

Indiana

10-15

 

Ohio

10-15

 

Montana

10-15

 

Rhode Island

10-15

 

Minnesota

10-15

 

Washington

10-15

 

South Dakota

5-10

 

Colorado

5-10

 

Wyoming

5-10

 

Delaware

5-10

 

Oregon

5-10

 

Michigan

5-10

 

West Virginia

5-10

 

Pennsylvania

5-10

 

Massachusetts

5-10

 

Hawaii

5-10

 

New Jersey

<5

 

Connecticut

<5

 

New York

<5

 

New Hampshire

<5

 

Maine

<5

 

Vermont

<5

 


* This State was on the designated list and is now under 15 daily cases per 100k residents, if they stay below for another week, it will be taken off the list

 

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

In response to increased and high rates of COVID-19 transmission in certain states within the United States, and to add to Chicago’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, the City is issuing an order applicable to anyone coming into the City from designated states that have a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19. This includes both Chicago residents returning from travel to a designated state, and travelers arriving in Chicago from a designated state. Anyone traveling from a designated state is directed to self-quarantine for a 14-day period or the duration of their time in Chicago, whichever is shorter, from the time of last contact within the designated state, subject to the limited exceptions outlined in the ‘Exceptions tab’.

This Order goes into effect on Monday July 6, 2020, 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 will be designated if it has a case rate greater than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 resident population, per day, over a 7-day rolling average.

As of August 4, 2020, the following states and territories are included:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • North Dakota
  • North Carolina
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma 
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin

A state on the designated list will be taken off the list when the daily case average declines below 15 daily cases per 100k residents for two consecutive weeks.

The list of states will be reviewed and amended every Tuesday, starting July 14, 2020, with the order effective for those states the following Friday (three days later).

Travelers coming from international locations are not covered by this Order and should follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

The Order will be in effect until further notice, and any changes will be based on applicable public health guidance.

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

The Order and its effects will be communicated through messaging on highways, at airports, on the City’s website, and through social media. Hotels and short-term rentals will be asked to communicate the 14-day quarantine to guests who have traveled from one of the designated states.

The Order impacts individuals who arrive in Chicago on or after the effective date of July 6, 2020. If you arrive in Chicago prior to that date, the Order does not impact you. However, all individuals are expected to follow the latest public health guidance for Chicago.

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 designated list, then you must quarantine for 14 days, even if you are in that state for less than 24 hours. If you are traveling through a designated state, and are in the state for less than 24 hours, then you do not need to quarantine.

Yes, if you were in a designated state, unless you are traveling through, you must quarantine for 14 days from the time of last contact within the designated state, even if you spent time in a non-designated 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 a designated state must adhere to the quarantine guidelines, subject to the limited exceptions outlined in the ‘Exceptions tab’.

Yes, all travelers arriving from designated states on or after the effective date of July 6, 2020, are required to follow the quarantine Order, subject to the limited exceptions outlined in the ‘Exceptions tab’.

The mandatory self-quarantine is for a period of 14 days or the duration of the individual’s presence in Chicago, whichever is shorter.

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. Traveling individuals are encouraged to self-quarantine in the home they are traveling to in Chicago and should avoid close interactions with non-traveling household members until the 14 days have passed. Other household members who did not travel from a designated state are not required to self-quarantine.

All travelers returning to Chicago from the designated states must self-quarantine for 14 days, subject to the limited exceptions outlined in the ‘Exceptions tab’.

Any employer with an employee subject to the quarantine because the employee departed the state on or after Monday July 6 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.

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 14 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 or COVID-19 testing.
  • 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. If any symptoms develop, the individual may leave the dwelling to receive testing for COVID-19 but then must return to complete the 14-day quarantine while isolating from other household members, regardless of the test result. A face covering must be worn while seeking testing. 

Yes, all travelers from the designated states must quarantine for the full 14 days, subject to the limited exceptions outlined in the ‘Exceptions tab’. Individuals can develop symptoms and become contagious up to 14 days from their last exposure. 

Yes, even individuals with a negative test result must quarantine for the full 14 days if coming from a designated state. Individuals can develop symptoms and become contagious up to 14 days from their last exposure.

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 mandatory self-quarantine 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’ 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.

The case levels in Wisconsin exceed the threshold to become one of the states on the City of Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order. This requires individuals coming from Wisconsin to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Chicago. This order will go into effect Friday July 31 at 12:01AM.

The Order applies to individuals arriving in Chicago, while they are in the city. The city limits are defined in this interactive map. This does not include individuals who are commuting from Wisconsin to Chicago for the purpose of work or school; however, such commuters are subject to the requirements below. It does include individuals coming from Wisconsin to Chicago for non-work or school purposes or Chicago residents returning from Wisconsin counties unless they are deemed an essential worker.

Individuals traveling through Wisconsin on their way to Chicago from a state not on the list do not need to quarantine if they were in Wisconsin for less than 24 hours. Individuals who travel to Wisconsin, even if for less than 24 hours, still need to quarantine upon returning unless deemed an essential worker.

 

Essential Workers Exemption

For purposes of the Order, “essential workers” are not subject to the mandatory self-quarantine if they are:

  1. A resident of Chicago returning from Wisconsin who was in Wisconsin for the primary purpose of carrying out essential work. The essential worker must have needed to be physically present in that county in order to carry out that primary work, with identification issued by their employer.
  2. A non-resident of Chicago, who is traveling from Wisconsin to Chicago for the purpose of carrying out essential work. The essential worker must need to be physically present in Chicago in order to carry out that work, with identification issued by their employer.

An essential worker whose travel is for non-work purposes is subject to the mandatory self-quarantine 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.

 

Requirements for Commuters and Essential Workers

Essential workers traveling to Wisconsin for work purposes and commuters to Chicago from Wisconsin are subject to the following requirements:

  • 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’ 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 are expected to follow the quarantine order, and should ask their school for guidance on how best to meet the quarantine order.  CDPH has worked with institutes of higher education to provide various acceptable options. 
Parents who accompany students to campus from high-incidence states should quarantine during their stay, avoid all public settings, and limit exposures to others outside of the scheduled move-in time. 
Parents who accompany students to campus in high-incidence states should quarantine during their stay, avoid all public settings, and limit exposures to others outside of the scheduled move-in time. Upon returning to Chicago, parents are encouraged to avoid non-essential interactions, extended periods in public, contact with strangers, and large congregate settings for 14 days, but are exempt from the quarantine requirement of the Chicago Emergency Travel Order.