Memorial Day travel: What Kansas, Missouri residents should know about nearby states

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As residents from the Greater Kansas City Area plan to travel for Memorial Day, states neighboring states may have different COVID-19 guidelines.

While most states have lifted mask mandates, some restrictions still apply. There are also widely-ranging levels of vaccination.

Here’s a snapshot of some likely travel states and what you may need to know going out of town.

Arkansas

There are currently no travel advisories to or from Arkansas from within the U.S.

The state also does not have a mask mandate. However, the Arkansas Department of Health states anyone not fully vaccinated (two weeks after your final shot) should wear a face mask in situations where social distancing is not possible. People who are vaccinated should still wear masks in medical, care and congregant living facilities.

The Arkansas’s population is only 28% vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University. That’s in the bottom five of all states in the U.S.

Colorado

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment states that residents who visit several Colorado counties must quarantine upon their return. That list is on the KDHE travel webpage.

There is not a mask mandate within the state of Colorado. The Department of Public Health & Environment states anyone not fully vaccinated (two weeks after your final shot) should wear a face mask in situations where social distancing is not possible.

There are also restrictions on public indoor gatherings; Social distancing must be enforced with gatherings of more than 100 people, and the number cannot be more than 500. This does not apply to religious gatherings, stores or sit-down dining.

People who are vaccinated should still wear masks in medical, care and congregant living facilities.

Nearly 42% of the state is fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Illinois

The state of Illinois does not have any specific travel restrictions. The City of Chicago does not recommend any non-essential travel from any state, but only residents a few states (including Colorado) must take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival.

There is not a mask mandate for Illinois. However, the most recent executive order by Gov. J.B. Pritzker requires some businesses, like gyms and retail stores, to cap occupancy at 60%. It also mandates that businesses require masks for all employees and patrons who are not fully vaccinated.

The state does not recommend gathering where vaccination status is unknown and social distancing is not possible.

Nearly 36% of Illinois’ population is vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University. That’s about the median of all U.S. states.

Iowa

There are currently no travel advisories to or from Iowa from within the U.S.

There are also no mask rules for the state, and a health proclamation suggests no business is subject enforcing health guidelines. The state strongly encourages vulnerable residents to limit activity. Increased hygienic practices and social distancing is also encouraged. Gathering hosts are suggested to take “reasonable measures” to ensure health safety.

Nearly 40% of Iowans are vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Kansas

The State of Kansas has a list of travel and exposure locations requiring isolation or quarantining on the Department of Health and Environment website. Several counties in Colorado are included.

People who are fully vaccinated do not have to wear masks or socially distance. There is no enforceable mask mandate in the state, though some counties may still make businesses enforce masks indoors.

The population of Kansas is 39.2% vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Missouri

There is no state travel requirement for Missouri to or from anywhere within the U.S.

The State of Missouri has never had a mask mandate. While some local governments may choose to implement stricter rules, most have rescinded their masking laws. The City of Kansas City rescinded its mask mandate on May 13, as did St. Louis. There are no gathering restrictions.

Nearly 32% of Missourians are fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Nebraska

There is no state travel requirement for Nebraska to or from anywhere within the U.S.

There is no mask mandate for the state, either. Nebraska is in the green zone, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. That means there is no restriction to gatherings or business operations. Directed Health Measures for each county may apply. The state COVID-19 Overview recommends people wear a mask in public settings where social distancing is not possible.

Nearly 39% of Nebraska residents have been fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Oklahoma

The State of Oklahoma recommends delaying travel until full vaccination, according to the State Department of Health. Officials ask residents who are not fully vaccinated and travel within the U.S. to get tested and self-quarantine for seven days, but no recommendation is clearly made for out-of-staters.

There is no mask mandate in Oklahoma, though businesses may still require one. The health department states anyone not fully vaccinated (two weeks after your final shot) should wear a face mask in situations where social distancing is not possible. People who are vaccinated should still wear masks in medical, care and congregant living facilities.

Only 31% of Oklahoma residents have been fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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