Chicagoans have been under some form of travel warning since July 2020, when the Chicago Department of Public Health implemented an emergency travel order to provide guidelines for travelers entering or returning to the city. The order has undergone several iterations since then, but for the most part, it's suggested a 10-day quarantine period or a negative COVID-19 test taken within a few days of a person's arrival from states that exceed a certain COVID-19 case threshold.
As of late, the news has been mostly positive, and in June, CDPH scaled back the order to a non-mandatory advisory, citing a nationwide decline in COVID-19 case loads. For nearly a month and a half, no U.S. states crossed the threshold of 15 daily cases per 100,000 people that would move them into the "orange" advisory tier, and, briefly, the list was dormant.
That changed during the week of July 16, when CDPH officials announced that two states—Missouri and Arkansas—would be moved back to the orange tier as the Delta variant of COVID-19 causes caseloads to climb in certain regions of the U.S. For travel to states in the orange tier, unvaccinated people are advised (but not required) to either receive a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before arrival in Chicago or quarantine for 10 days. The advisory does not apply to vaccinated travelers.
Updates are set to be released every Tuesday, with the advisory going into effect the following Friday. We'll continue to update this post as new states and territories are added to or removed from the list. In the meantime, remember to mask up on public transit, including airplanes, and other federally-mandated spaces. Stay safe and happy travels!
States and U.S. territories in the orange tier as of August 6: Arkansas, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands