COVID-19 Related Travel Guidance for Caregivers

April 1, 2021
family traveling

In order to ensure the health and safety of children, families, parents and caregivers, DCYF is providing this COVID-related guidance for travel considerations and approvals.  This memo serves as interim policy guidance related to policy 5800 – Travel and Transportation. 

This memo includes: 

  • General travel guidance for children in out-of-home care and their caregivers
  • Links to DCYF travel policies and resources
  • Links to CDC and Washington resources

Travel Guidance 

  • The travel approval process outlined in policy 5800. Travel and Transportation and captured in the Travel Approval Quick Reference Guide continues to apply.
  • The Governor’s November 13, 2020 COVID-19 Travel Advisoryi remains in effect. Persons arriving in Washington from other states or countries, including returning Washington residents, should self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. These persons should limit their interactions to their immediate household; and (2) Washingtonians are encouraged to stay home or in their region and avoid non-essential travel to other states or countries. Non-essential travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature. In addition:
    • Effective March 1, 2021 Proclamation 20-83.1 requires compliance with the requirements ordered by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when traveling from outside the U.S. to Washington. The proclamation reiterates that the November 13, 2020 travel advisory remains in effect.
  • Caregivers are expected to observe the Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery activity-based restrictions.   Effective March 22, 2021 all counties will be in phase 3. Counties will be individually evaluated every three weeks to determine their phase. The first evaluation is scheduled for April 12, 2021. Caregivers need to be aware of and to follow directives related to the current phase and allowable activities for their county as well as the county they wish to travel to.
  • Face coverings are required statewide in all public spaces.  Caregivers are expected to comply with requirements for use of face coverings. More information about face coverings is available on the Washington State Coronavirus Response webpage.

For all travel in-state and out-of-state

  • Staff and caregivers are encouraged to review the CDC’s travel guidance and resources available here.  Caregivers must be aware of all state and local restrictions, directives and permissible activities that apply to their destination and any locales they will be traveling through to arrive at their destination.
  • Caregivers must be prepared to isolate and quarantineii if they or a child becomes ill.
  • Before traveling, caregivers are encouraged to consider the isolation and quarantine requirements should someone in their family or someone they are traveling with become ill:
    • A person with COVID-19 needs to isolate for a minimum of 10 days after the onset of symptoms and until they have been fever free for 3 days.
    • Anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 needs to quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure.
    • Caregivers who travel by plane to a destination cannot fly home until the isolation and quarantine periods are over.
    • All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States.
    • Caregivers who travel by car to a destination and can drive home in one day should drive home without stops other than to refuel and use the restroom.
  • Caregivers who are hosting guests should ensure that people arriving in Washington from other states or countries, including returning Washington residents, self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival.  These guests should limit their interactions to the hosting caregiver’s household.
  • Caseworkers should consider the following when determining whether or not to approve a caregiver’s travel request:
    • The necessity of the travel and its timing
    • The travel destination and any travel restrictions
    • The child’s needs and physical health
    • The activities the child will engage in at their destination
    • The caregiver’s willingness to maintain social distancing and adherence to masking requirements or other restrictions

Please contact Deanna Morrison at deanna.morrison@dcyf.wa.gov or 360-999-8248 for questions. 

Policy 5800. Travel and Transportation

  • https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/5000-case-support/5800-travel-and-transportation

Travel Approval Quick Reference Guide

  • https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/Travel-refguide.pdf

Child Welfare Travel Authorization Form (DCYF 03-478)

  • http://intranet.dcyf.wa.gov:8090/drupal-8.4.0/sites/default/files/forms/03-478.docx

Caregiver Guidelines for Foster Childhood Activities (frequently referred to as “Prudent Parenting,” DCYF 22-533)

  • https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/publications-library?combine_1=22-533&combine=&field_program_topic_value=All&field_languages_available_val ue=All

Links to Safe Start Washington Resources 

  • Washington State Coronavirus Response County Status and Safe Start Application Process Webpage
    • https://coronavirus.wa.gov/what-you-need-know/county-status-and-safe-start-application-process
  • Safe Start – Washington’s Phased Reopening.  A synopsis of permissible activities under the Safe Start Washington plan is included on page twelve of the document linked below
    • https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/SafeStartPhasedReopening.pdf
  • An overview of the restrictions that are in place from November 16 through December 14.
    • https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/COVID%2019%2 0November%20Statewide%20Restrictions.pdf