Chicago Travel Advisory: What You Should Know

The city of Chicago has implemented a travel advisory for incoming flights from states with high infection rates. Currently, several states are reporting surges in new cases, however not everyone of them is part of the travel advisory. The goal of the travel advisory is to prevent people from spreading COVID-19 in Chicago or the surrounding areas. The advisory takes effect today and will last indefinitely. As you know, all of Illinois is in Phase 4 and reporting relatively low numbers in deaths. This post will go over details about the travel advisory, who it affects, and what states are on the list.

What Is A Travel Advisory?

If you travel often, whether within the US or outside it, you have likely heard the words “travel advisory.” According to Tripadvisor, a travel advisory is a notice from your government about concerns they have about another state or country. Typically, a government would issue a travel advisory for weather, terrorism, disease, or some other pressing issue. It does not cancel or prevent air travel, but it does come with conditions sometimes. In the case of Chicago, the travel advisory conditions include quarantining. 

The Details

In order to protect Chicago residents and Illinois in general, the city has put forth a travel advisory for incoming flights. Anyone vacationing or returning home on flights to Chicago must quarantine for a minimum 14 days. This means you must remain in your residence for 14 days, unless for emergency purposes. So, unless you have 14 days to spare from work or other obligations, it is unwise to fly to any state on the list. Additionally, the Sun-times reports that anyone who stayed for at least 24 hours in a high infection state must quarantine. So, if you had a layover flight in a state on the list, you are fine. Additionally, anyone who traveled via roadways instead of flying does not have to quarantine. You can see a full list of exceptions here

While it may seem impossible enforce the travel advisory on Chicago residents or vacationers, punishments have been announced. Anyone caught defying quarantine will likely face a fine ranging from $100-$500 a day according to the Sun-times. The maximum penalty a person can face is $7,000 for violating quarantine.

As we await details of enforcement, you should take this into consideration. It’s unlikely that the city can track your every move. However, if you do contract COVID-19 after traveling to a high infectious state, you will be asked where you’ve been recently. One way or another your travel history will be disclosed, and you will be slapped with a large fine if you had been breaking quarantine. 

What States Are On The List

Currently the states on Chicago’s travel advisory list all contain high infection rates, making travel dangerous. Since the disease is believed to be airborne, and flights are practically flying tubes, flying is especially dangerous. Additionally, many states have not done enough to combat their high infection rates, leading to surges across the country. Below is a list of current states who have failed to reign in their infection rates. This list will be updated regularly by the city. 

The List: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. 

Current State Of Traveling

Right now, Chicago is one of many cities/states that have put out travel advisories. In fact, US citizens cannot travel to several states countries including Canada, all of Europe, South Korea and more. According to Business Insider, Illinois has a travel advisory for those who fly from Iran, China, and Italy. With so many restrictions and advisories, the travel industry surely will suffer for a while. However, the alternative is allowing people to spread the disease unknowingly, creating worse conditions.