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​COVID-19 Travel Guidance for Commonwealth Employees

Recent Updates


  • On November 17, 2020, the Department of Health (DOH) announced an order requiring that travelers entering Pennsylvania from other countries and states, as well as Pennsylvanians who are returning home from other countries or states, have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering Pennsylvania or quarantine for 10 days upon entry into Pennsylvania.  Travel between home and work or home and medical appointments in other states is permitted. This requirement went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, November 20, 2020, and is to remain in effect until further notice.  

  • The Department of Health issued an amended travel order on November 25, 2020.
Quarantine recommendations are available at the Pennsylvania DOH Travelers Information website, which also provides information on things to consider if you must travel, and how to protect yourself and others during your trip.  

The following FAQs provide guidance to employees who may be impacted by COVID-19 travel requirements.

Updated December 16, 3:30, p.m.



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Why is quarantine after travel outside of Pennsylvania being recommended? What does it mean?

​How does travel quarantine differ from other quarantining recommendations?

Why are specific states no longer identified? Why must travel outside of Pennsylvania result in a quarantine?

What is considered travel outside of Pennsylvania?  What if I am just passing through or stopping for fuel?

How does the order to obtain a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to returning to Pennsylvania or during the 10-day travel quarantine period upon entry into Pennsylvania, apply to commonwealth employees? (Updated 12/16/20)

​I have just returned from a designated state after the order became effective, and I work as a direct care staff at a 24/7 facility.  Am I required to travel quarantine? (Updated 12/16/20)

​I did not obtain a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to returning to Pennsylvania, and now have to travel quarantine as a result.  However, what if I am able to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result thereafter, either through my own efforts or as the result of a mandatory testing policy in place at my worksite?  Do I still have to remain in travel quarantine for a full 10days? (Updated 1/1/21)

Does the commonwealth distinguish between work-related travel and personal travel?  

What are my leave options during a required travel quarantine period? 

​What if I live in another state and commute into Pennsylvania for work?

Am I required to adhere to the travel quarantine if I am asymptomatic? (Updated 12/16/20)

​If my spouse or family member has returned from traveling outside of Pennsylvania, must a non-traveling household member quarantine? 

​What happens if I exhaust my  leave while I am required to travel quarantine? Will I be subject to discipline?

​What if I am required to travel outside of Pennsylvania for reasons beyond  my control, but which otherwise do not fall under the specific exemptions to the order described by the DOH?  Would I still be covered by the order?  If so, and if I am unable to telework, would I still need to use my own leave to cover my absence if I am required to travel quarantine upon my return?

​What if I am off on military leave and my orders require me to travel outside of Pennsylvania?  Am I required to obtain a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to returning to Pennsylvania or be subject to travel quarantine?

I am a non-teleworking employee who submitted to a COVID-19 test prior to returning to Pennsylvania or during my travel quarantine period, but I have not yet received my results.  Am I allowed to work until my COVID-19 test results are received?

​What kinds of tests are acceptable to avoid the travel quarantine?