Use These Sites for Real-Time COVID Travel Restrictions


Illustration for article titled Use These Sites for Real-Time COVID Travel Restrictions

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Let’s first acknowledge that if you don’t have to travel right now, you should definitely stay home. But if you absolutely must travel, it’s important to have up-to-date information about what’s going on with COVID-19 at your planned destination.

This can be confusing, as the pandemic situation and related travel restrictions seem to change almost day to day—but there are tools out there that show real-time info on risks, restrictions, and requirements for both domestic and international travel. Here are a few options.

DragonSlayer

DragonSlayer is a subscription-based service primarily for travel agents, but it’s also available to the general public. It scans for actual real-time updates on COVID-19 restrictions in all 50 states and 124 countries, and it gives each location a color-coded score based on an individual risk tolerance survey.

You can also access official government guidance and information on how businesses are handling quarantines and restrictions.

The service has a free 14-day trial, after which it’ll set you back $9.99 per month. But if you’re traveling at the last minute, this may be worth it. Android users can find a standalone app in the Google Play store, while iOS users are currently restricted to a browser version.

TravelVitals database

TravelVitals is a searchable web database from American Express Global Business Travel. You can narrow down by specific travel factors, including location, airline, rail station, or hotel name. You’ll get a long list of relevant information, from entry restrictions to mask requirements to what a company is doing with its rewards program.

Search results also show the last date verified, so you’ll know that the information you’re reading is current. A few quick searches on our end showed same-day verification dates.

IATA interactive map

The International Air Transport Association maintains a color-coded global map with COVID-19 entry restrictions by country. The interface is pretty simple: simply click on the country and read the pop-up, which also shows you the last date information for that country was published.

IATA notes that the map is updated frequently, but it may not actually be real-time.

United Airlines and Wanderu interactive maps

The United Airlines COVID-19 map is a domestic version of IATA’s global tool and is also available as a mobile app. It shows you whether a location is open or closed for leisure travel as well as any testing and quarantining requirements. You can also see whether businesses (restaurants, etc.) are open and any related restrictions. When you click on a specific state, you’ll see the date the information was last reviewed—most are within the last few days.

We’ve also covered Wanderu, which has an interactive state-by-state map and is especially helpful for bus and train restrictions. It’s not exactly real-time, but it’s a place to start.



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