Vaccinated people can travel safely, according to the CDC’s new pandemic guidelines released Friday, but must continue to take COVID-19 safety precautions when traveling, such as wearing a mask in public and social distancing.
The release of the long-awaited guidelines comes as COVID-19[female[feminine vaccinations have increased across the country and as the summer travel season approaches. Sure 100 million people have now received at least one dose of vaccine. Over 200 million doses have been shipped across the country.
“We continue to encourage all Americans to get vaccinated as soon as it is their turn, so that we can start taking safe action in our daily lives,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. issued travel guidelines on Friday. “Vaccines can help us get the things we love back in life, which is why we encourage every American to get vaccinated whenever they get the chance.”
The health agency has so far published sparse advice on what activities vaccinated people can safely resume. Last month the agency published safety recommendations allow vaccinated people to meet indoors with each other without a mask or with another unvaccinated household if they are at low risk of serious illness.
This is what the new CDC Travel Guidelines say:
- Fully vaccinated people can travel abroad without first taking a COVID-19 test, unless the country they are traveling to requires it.
- Fully vaccinated people do not need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States, unless required by a state or local jurisdiction.
- Fully vaccinated people must test negative for COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States. They are also expected to get tested for COVID-19 three to five days after returning from international travel.
- Fully vaccinated people should continue to take COVID-19 precautions – such as wearing a mask in public, social distancing and hand washing – when traveling abroad.
Last week, health worker data released by the CDC showed that widely used two-dose vaccines appear to prevent 90% of COVID-19 infections, a highly effective rate, which has boosted public health experts’ confidence in vaccines. In particular, the discovery that vaccines prevent asymptomatic cases, believed to play an important role in the spread of the virus, has boosted confidence in the relaxation of restrictions for those vaccinated.
People are considered fully protected by the vaccines two weeks after their second dose of Moderna or Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines, or two weeks after their single injection of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The travel advice comes as US states report a disturbing increase in cases, which Walensky warned. threatens to lead to a fourth outbreak. On Monday, the CDC director attributed the increase in cases to states rushing to reopen, the spread of more communicable variants and the increase in travel. Other experts said they were optimistic that increasing vaccinations, especially among the elderly and other vulnerable populations, would mean that an increase in cases will not lead to as many hospitalizations or deaths.
Masks are always needed on planes, buses and trains as directed by the CDC, as well as at airports and other travel centers.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.