Mar. 06, 2020 / Press Release

Coronavirus: Health Department Issues New Travel Guidelines

This week, the Pennsylvania Department of Health updated their travel guidelines for anyone who returned to Pennsylvania from countries with known COVID-19 outbreaks in the past 14 days.

“If you arrived in Pennsylvania from China or Iran anytime during the outbreaks there, you will be notified by the department to stay home and practice social distancing for 14 days after travel,” said Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine. “If you have returned from travel in Italy or South Korea within the past 14 days, we ask that you call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) to let the department know about your travel, and then stay home and practice social distancing for 14 days after travel.”

“While we caution Pennsylvanians to avoid all unnecessary travel to and from countries with a CDC level 3 travel advisory at this time, we understand that it cannot all be avoided,” Dr. Levine said. “In that case, we are urging Pennsylvanians to be aware of and follow these guidelines to protect their health and others around them.”

Travelers who are self-monitoring their health and practicing social distancing are urged to:
  •   Take your temperature with a thermometer twice day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  •   Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period.
  •   If you must leave your home, do not take public transportation, taxis or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  •   If you must leave your home, avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  •   Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).  

Should the need arise to seek medical care for other reasons, travelers are asked to call ahead to 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) and to their doctor to inform them about recent travel to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19. When 14 days have passed since the initial departure date, travelers can return to their regular routine.

Pennsylvanians are encouraged to help stop the spread of viruses by:
  •   Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  •   Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  •   Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones and other frequently touched items.
  •   If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.

For information and updates related to novel coronavirus, visit the Department of Health website at