Travel Advisories


Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel

On March 31, 2020, the Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory. The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel.  You can read the Department of State Global Level 4 Health Advisory here.

Bringing Americans Home

Traveling by Cruise Ship

Domestic Travel

General Travel Abroad Information

U.S. Passport Operations in Response to COVID-19

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Bringing Americans Home

The Department of State is leading the effort to bring home American citizens abroad who wish to return to the United States.At present the Department of State is making every effort to assist U.S. citizens overseas who wish to return to the United States. As the COVID-19 situation develops, their ability to provide such assistance working with commercial airlines or arranging for evacuation flights may become more limited or even unavailable. In recent weeks, commercial airlines have significantly reduced flight schedules and countries have closed airports and borders with little advance notice.

If you wish to return to the United States, you should make arrangements to do so now and contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate  for assistance as needed. There is no guarantee that the Department of State will be able to continue to provide repatriation assistance and transportation options to the United States may be unavailable in the future. If you choose to remain overseas, you should be prepared to remain where you are for the foreseeable future.

U.S. Citizens Traveling or Residing Abroad

U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel.  Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice. Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips.

If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe.

For U.S. citizens who are currently  traveling or residing abroad and unable to travel due to current alerts in that area, there are ways to keep in connection with the U.S. Embassies to ensure safety and receive updated communications. 

  • All U.S. citizens should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for alerts at
  • Review the COVID-19 country specific information and warnings from the Department of State here.
  • In case of a COVID-19 Virus Related emergency overseas call:
    • 1-888-407-4747 (From the U.S. & Canada)
    • +1-202-501-4444 (From Overseas); or
    • Contact the nearest embassy:
  • If you continue to experience communication issues with the you can contact Congressman Lipinski’s office at and include in the subject line “Assistance Needed in (list country)”.

Returning from International Travel

It is strongly advised by the CDC that all individuals who have recently traveled abroad upon returning to the United States should establish a 14-day self-quarantine period and to chart your daily temperature.

During this 14-day period, take these steps to monitor your health and practice social distancing:

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing. Use this temperature log to monitor your temperature.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school.
  • Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares.
  • Keep 6 feet distance from others.
  • If you get sick with fever or cough in the 14 days after you return from travel, continue to self-quarantine and contact your doctor immediately.

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Traveling by Cruise Ship 

Cruise Advisories

U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship.  CDC notes increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment. Many countries have implemented strict guidance and have denied port entry rights to ships and prevented passengers from disembarking.  In some cases, local authorities have permitted disembarkation but subjected passengers to local quarantine procedures.  While the U.S. government has evacuated some cruise ship passengers in recent weeks, repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities. 

The safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas is a top priority of the U.S. Department of State.  American citizens are strongly encourage to closely monitor Cruise Ship Passenger information put out  by the U.S. Department of State that can be found here.  

Prior to Travel by Cruise Ship

Several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips. Passengers with plans to travel by cruise ship should contact their cruise line companies directly for further information and continue to monitor the website and see the latest information from the CDC.

Currently on Travel by Cruise Ship

For onboard American citizen emergencies (e.g., urgent medication need, ill passengers/crew), American citizens or their relatives can email directly.

Please be sure to provide as much of the following information as possible:

  • Full name  of American citizen(s) in need of emergency assistance (if you are writing about yourself, please indicate “self”)
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Name of Ship 
  • Last known location (please be as specific as possible) 
  • Any available contact information  (phone, E-mail, emergency contact E-mail)
  • If writing on behalf of a traveler please include your name, contact information , and relationship to traveler about whom you are writing (e.g., spouse, parent, child, friend, employer, etc.)  

Returning from Travel by Cruise Ship

Cruise travelers should stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing. See the CDC’s Travelers Returning from Cruise Ship and River Cruise Voyages.

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Domestic Travel

While the CDC does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States, as many states are issuing guidance and stay at home mandates, you may want to consider delaying or cancelling any unnecessary travel plans. If you do decide to travel, be sure to take steps to help prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases during travel. For the most up-to-date COVID-19 travel information, visit the CDC’s COVID-19 Travel page.

Visit the State Department website for the most up to date information about traveling within the United States.

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General Travel Abroad Information

For more information about travel during the COVID19 pandemic visit the CDCwebsite for travelers.

In general, even during times of normal travel alerts, conditions can change rapidly in a country at any time. There are a number of ways to stay connected to get timely, reliable, and clear information about safety and security information for every country in the world. You can stay connected by signing up to receive Travel Advisories and Alerts on the U.S. Department of State website here.

Additional details about safety and security information for travel abroad, can be found on the U.S. Department of State website here

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U.S. Passport Operations in Response to COVID-19

The U.S. State Department has limited U.S. passport operations in response to COVID-19. Unless you have a life-or-death emergency, U.S. citizens are advised to wait until the resumption of normal operations to apply for or renew your passport.

Effective June 11th, the Chicago Passport Agency entered Phase One of opening back up of operations.  During phase one, priority will be given to customers who need a passport in the next 72 hours for a life-or-death emergency only by appointment only. Customers must wear cloth face coverings in all common areas, including lobbies, and observe strict social distancing.

In Phase One only a limited number of employees will return to work to resume processing a limited number of applications already received. It is strongly recommended that customers wait to submit a new or renewal application as delays will continue in phase one.

  • All services will be by appointment only.  Click here to make an appointment.
  • In-person passport services are currently only available for customers with a qualified life-or-death emergency and who need a passport for immediate international travel within 72 hours.
  • Expedited passport applications are currently suspended for non-emergency situations.

You will experience significant delays of several months to receive your U.S. passport and the return of your citizenship evidence documents (such as birth certificates or naturalization certificates). New or renewed passports will not be processed until the U.S. Department of State resumes normal operations.

  • If you need to apply or renew your passport, the U.S. Department of State advises you to wait until they resume normal operations. 
  • If you applied for a new or to renew a passport prior to March 19, 2020, you will still experience significant delays of several months to receive your passport and the return of your citizenship evidence documents.
  • If you received a letter requesting additional information to process your passport application, you may mail your response to the address in the letter. Expect significant processing delays.
  • If you contact the National Passport Information Center or check the Online Passport Status System after you apply or renew, your application status may be "Not Found" or "In Process."

More information for U.S. passport customers can be found here.

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