COVID-19 and Holiday Travel

We know our families and loved ones are likely eagerly awaiting your student’s return home during the upcoming scheduled university breaks. 

As your student prepares to reunite with their loved ones, they can help maintain the health and safety of their community at home and at U-M—their home away from home—through pre- and post-travel COVID-19 testing.

Detailed testing guidance is shared below. You can also watch a "Friendsgiving" video conversation with Michigan public health experts to hear their tips for students on domestic and international travel to interacting with their family and friends.

Does your student need to get a COVID-19 test to travel? 

Recommendations for COVID-19 testing for before and after travel depend on both your student’s vaccination status and travel destination.

Testing is not recommended if your student tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days as residual virus (non-contagious remnants) may still be detected.

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, travel is discouraged for individuals who are not fully vaccinated.

Unvaccinated individuals who choose to travel should get tested twice the week before and after travel

  • Pre-travel test should align with the recommended 1-3 days prior to travel. 
  • After travel, get tested 3-5 days after travel and self-quarantine for a full 7 days with a negative test result, or 10 days if not testing. 

While there is no formal guidance to be tested for fully vaccinated individuals who travel domestically unless they are symptomatic, resources are available if your student chooses to get tested. If you are vaccinated and traveling internationally, the CDC does recommend testing before and after traveling.

Where can your student get a COVID-19 test on campus? 

Free testing through the Community Sampling and Tracking Program is available to all U-M students on the Ann Arbor campus who will be traveling internationally or domestically. The program meets the CDC requirement of a PCR COVID-19 test for international travel. Your student can find campus testing locations and hours of operations on the Campus Blueprint website.

Regardless of your student’s vaccination status, they should get tested if they develop any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. Symptomatic testing is available at the University Health Service.

What should your student know before they travel? 

It's recommended all travelers follow public health prevention strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including:

  • Wear a mask, especially in crowded areas. 
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid travel if ill.
  • Check for travel restrictions for their final destination. For those traveling internationally, all air passengers returning to the United States are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the U.S. as outlined by the CDC.