Can you fly domestic in the US with Covid?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Pandemic Covid-19 has had a significant impact on domestic travel in the US. Due to constantly changing restrictions and guidelines, many travelers are still unsure about how to travel between states and what is expected of them upon arrival.

What should you know if you have COVID-19 and you have to cross states? 

While airline regulations regarding Covid-19 have been relaxed, it is still the norm to avoid flying if tested positive. How do you get back home if you catch the virus while crossing state lines then? Only an air ambulance that is fully equipped can transport you efficiently, safely, and without violating quarantine restrictions.

Fear of Covid-19: How does it impact the travel industry?

If we had to sum up the Covid-19 pandemic's impact on the travel industry in one word, it would be "uncertainty." Indeed, after many months of nearly total restrictions on domestic air travel within the US, Americans are now permitted to fly, but only under certain conditions. However, airlines and states impose different measures, leaving American travelers in the dark about interstate travel. We've compiled a list of these various measures to make your journey easier.

patient traveling during COVIDCDS travel requirements when flying within the US and its territories

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its recommendations, stating that vaccinated domestic travelers do not need to be tested prior to travel. In contrast, unvaccinated travelers flying within the US should be tested 1 to 3 days before departure. Aside from that significant change, major US airlines no longer require passengers to wear masks while flying or at the airport.

If you are sick with Covid-19 or have been tested positive for it, you should avoid flying and adhere to the CDC's isolation guidelines. If you are exposed to Covid-19 10 days before your departure date, follow the CDC's recommendations, which include getting tested at least 5 full days after your last exposure. If you plan on using public transportation, such as planes, after your isolation period, you should wear a high-quality mask or respirator the entire time. If you are unable to do so, do not travel.

US state-by-state Covid-19 travel rules

While many of the Covid-19 state-by-state travel restrictions have been lifted, local regulations in some cities or counties may still exist, and certain  restrictions may apply in states with Native American lands. For example, the ten most populous US states, California, Florida, Nevada, Texas, New York, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Hawaii have no statewide travel restrictions. Check out the restrictions on Native American lands in Arizona here.

Requirements are frequently updated, so we recommend double-checking the most recent entry requirements before your trip.

Flying with Covid-19: is it safe?

Flying while infected with the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) coronavirus could have serious health consequences. This is due to the fact that as altitude increases, oxygen levels in an airplane cabin decrease, posing a risk to passengers who already have pulmonary infections. Wheezing, rapid breathing, air hunger, chest pain, light-headedness and a racing or pounding heart are all serious side effects of hypoxia. There is also a significant risk of infecting other passengers and crew members on board.

How can you fly state-to-state safely with Covid-19?

To comply with quarantine regulations, traveling with a positive Covid-19 test is only possible via an air ambulance or a private jet for long distances or ground ambulance for shorter distances.

Covid-19 private jets for asymptomatic patients

Despite testing positive for the coronavirus, some patients show no symptoms. They can return home quickly, safely, and comfortably by private jet, without the risk of infecting others or violating quarantine requirements. The patient will travel alone, unaccompanied by medical personnel or stewardesses. They will be seated separately from the pilots in the passenger cabin. To avoid contaminating other passengers, the cabin is thoroughly disinfected after the flight. We also offer transportation from the airport to your destination while adhering to quarantine guidelines.

patient in isolation podCovid-19 air ambulances for critically ill patients

Some patients may develop a severe form of Covid-19 and experience difficulty breathing as well as persistent pain or pressure in the chest. To keep their health from deteriorating, they must fly under medical supervision in an air ambulance. A specialized aviation physician will accompany them throughout the flight. Modern intensive care equipment is also on board to ensure a safe medical transfer.

There are two ways to maintain flight safety during the trip. Medical personnel wear protective clothing in the case of minor symptoms to reduce the risk of an infection. When national footballer Thomas Müller became ill while playing for Covid-19 in Qatar, he used this option.

The second option is using an isolation system that allows the patient to lie down comfortably in more serious cases and on long-haul flights. A negative pressure inside keeps the virus from escaping, and filtered ventilation keeps the patient oxygenated. The various openings in the isolation shell allow the aviation physician to perform all necessary medical interventions on the patient. This ensures that they receive the best possible care while also ensuring the safety of everyone involved.

If a corona patient needs to be transferred via a medical aircraft, intubation is not an issue. The medical facilities on board allow for the transport and continuous ventilation of intubated patients as long as they are fit to fly. We also provide ambulance transportation to and from the airport as well as to the final destination in the patient’s home state.

Covid-19 ground ambulances

Driving your own or a rented car is not permitted, nor recommended, if the PCR test results are positive. Transportation in a ground ambulance is suitable, especially if the distance to be covered is short. While you are safely returned home, you will be accompanied by medical personnel wearing protective clothing. Furthermore, the team will prepare your meals so that you do not have to leave the vehicle while traveling.

medical personnel wearing corona gearThe length and exact route are important factors in determining whether ground ambulance transport is feasible. If another mode of transportation, such as a ferry, is required, the transfer is not permitted. The length of the journey must be determined on an individual basis, considering the patient’s overall health. To smooth things over, our aviation experts will determine the best transportation option for the patient.

Contact us for a US state-to-state ambulance

As an experienced air ambulance provider, we ensure that each long-distance patient transportation is safe, quick, and comfortable. Simply contact us to book an air ambulance from France to the United States. Our expert agents will handle everything after the initial contact.


Get in touch now