COVID-19 Travel Resources and Reopening Guidelines

Planning Safe Travel to Philadelphia

December 15, 2020

Whether you’re coming to Philadelphia for an upcoming meeting or convention or a leisure visit, travel with confidence knowing that local transportation organizations including Philadelphia International Airport, Amtrak, and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) are taking the necessary precautions to keep you safe while traveling.

Be sure to check travel restrictions in your city, state, and country as some locations require a mandatory quarantine after returning from a trip. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania currently requires travelers arriving from out of state to produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or enter a 14-day travel quarantine upon entering, unless a negative test is received a during the travel quarantine period. To learn more, click here. For more health and safety travel resources, including policies and procedures for individual airlines, click here.

Getting Here

If you’re traveling by plane, you’ll pass through Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), which has implemented stringent health and safety protocols for travelers and employees at the airport and recently received GBAC STAR™ accreditation. Upon arriving, you’ll notice that PHL requires all travelers and employees to wear masks and maintain appropriate physical distancing. Further, the airport’s cleaning crew is hard at work and using products such as Envirox Critical Care and the Clorox Total 360 System to clean and disinfect common areas and high-touch surfaces. Many touch-free experiences have also been implemented throughout the airport, including motion sensors on doors, faucets, soap dispensers, flush valves, and paper towel dispensers. Additionally, protective barriers have been installed at ticketing counters, security checkpoints, information counters, and food and beverage stations throughout the airport.

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia International Airport.

As many destinations require a negative COVID-19 test prior to travel, Philadelphia International Airport has partnered with local healthcare leaders Jefferson Health and Ambulnz to open a testing site in the pre-security area of Terminal E, designed for asymptomatic passengers flying out of PHL. PHL is also encouraging travelers to take extra steps to ensure their airport experience is smooth and efficient, such as checking in early with your respective airline app, checking for up-to-date security checkpoint hours, making a transportation plan to/from the airport, and arriving two hours before your flight. To learn more about PHL’s COVID-19 response, click here, or to read their full COVID-19 Recovery Playbook, click here.

Those traveling by train will arrive in Philadelphia via Amtrak’s William H. Gray III 30th Street Station, which serves as a central travel hub with easy access to Center City or West Philadelphia. Amtrak has implemented a number of new guidelines for both its trains and stations, including the requirement to wear face coverings and regular reminders to practice social distancing (such as blocked off seats). In addition, at the station, Amtrak’s cleaning crews are working on an enhanced cleaning routine, cleaning and disinfecting commonly used surfaces such as door handles and seating areas with EPA-registered disinfectants. Plastic barriers have also been installed at customer service counters.

Photo by Marty Katz/

Amtrak has equipped all of its trains with onboard filtration systems that feature a fresh air exchange rate every 4-5 minutes. Bookings have been limited to allow for more room on the train for physical distancing and each train undergoes deep cleaning and sanitizing prior to its service, with regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces and bathrooms while the train travels between destinations. To learn more about Amtrak’s health and safety guidelines and to view a full list of practices in place at stations and on trains, click here.

Getting Around

To get around the city, SEPTA’s two primary train lines are an efficient and affordable option. The Broad Street Line (BSL) runs beneath Broad Street, from North Philadelphia all the way to the Sports Complex in South Philadelphia with many stops in neighborhoods along the way. Running perpendicular to the BSL is the Market/Frankford Line (MFL, also referred to as ‘The El’), connecting Northeast Philadelphia with West Philadelphia and University City. SEPTA has implemented a number of health and safety practices to keep its riders and employees safe, including the requirement for everyone riding SEPTA to wear a mask. Enhanced vehicle cleaning, which includes the sanitization of each vehicle twice a day and trained crews cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, joins vehicle capacity limits and social distancing signage and decals as just a few of the other methods SEPTA is keeping passengers safe. For a full overview of SEPTA’s Reopening Guide, which includes actions taken on its other train lines and fleets of buses, click here.

Image courtesy of SEPTA.

Rideshare services such as Lyft and Uber are also a convenient option to traverse Philadelphia, with each implementing their own set of health and safety guidelines. Click here for Lyft’s policies, or here to view Uber’s. Taxis are also available throughout the city, and must adhere to the City of Philadelphia’s reopening guidance outlined here.

To learn more about how local attractions, meeting spaces, hotels, and restaurants are committing to keeping visitors safe via the PHL Health Pledge, click here.

Cover image courtesy of Philadelphia International Airport.

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