I read on IATA:

Passengers who have been in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China (People's Rep.), Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Ireland (Rep.), Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland or United Kingdom (excluding overseas territories outside of Europe) in the past 14 days but are exempt from the restriction to enter the USA, must self-quarantine for 14 days once they reach their final destination.

I am in the United States (California) and must self-quarantine. Am I allowed to go to the airport to catch a flight? I am interested in both domestic and international flights.

  • Downvoters: the question is perfectly on-topic and the answer is not straightforward as you can see in the chat and comment. E.g. the March/April 2020 curfew/lockdown of Metro Manila didn't prevent people from going to the airport.
  • Close voters: 1) This is a problem I face. 2) I don't wish to disclose the reason for travel and subsequently I am interested to know in the general case, and not for a specific travel reason. 3) Opinion-based close voter: That's a purely factual question right here. Officials typically follow guidelines/regulations.

  • 2
    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Willeke
    Aug 11, 2020 at 11:00

2 Answers 2


Specifically for California, the answer is “You can travel for urgent matters or if such travel is essential to your permitted work.”

Source: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/nCOV2019.aspx

Links to other state health departments are available here https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/what-to-know-about-each-state-during-the-coronavirus

  • Thanks for finding this link! From the same webpage "avoid travelling long distances for vacations or pleasure as much as possible." so it sounds like traveling for leisure isn't banned. Aug 11, 2020 at 7:33

No, the definition of quarantine is that you must stay in one place for its duration. Merely traveling to the airport violates this definition, and catching a flight is precisely the thing which quarantine is most designed to stop you from doing.

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    Not quite that simple. If, for example, you stay in a country for 5 days but must self-isolate for 14 days, that doesn't mean you cannot return home after 5 days; rather you're to self-isolate for the whole visit.
    – Crazydre
    Aug 10, 2020 at 18:53
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    Practically it does need to mean that. For someone who is supposed to be in quarantine to get into an aircraft cabin with others is about the most grotesque violation of the idea of quarantine imaginable. Oct 8, 2020 at 16:08

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