The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still discouraging Americans from traveling but has issued an updated guidance that eases travel restrictions for fully vaccinated citizens during the pandemic.
“Fully vaccinated people can travel within the United States and do not need COVID-19 testing or post-travel self-quarantine as long as they continue to take COVID-19 precautions while traveling – wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, socially distancing, and washing hands frequently,” the CDC said.
“With millions of Americans getting vaccinated every day, it is important to update the public on the latest science about what fully vaccinated people can do safely, now including guidance on safe travel,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.
“We continue to encourage every American to get vaccinated as soon as it’s their turn, so we can begin to safely take steps back to our everyday lives. Vaccines can help us return to the things we love about life, so we encourage every American to get vaccinated as soon as they have the opportunity.”
“We haven’t changed our guidance for nonessential travel at all. We are not recommending travel at this time, especially for unvaccinated people,” Walensky said. “I still continue to worry that with 80 percent of the population unvaccinated that we still have a lot of work to do to control this pandemic.
“The science on COVID-19 is constantly evolving. We will continue to monitor the evidence and provide updates as we learn more,” she said.
Walensky said that guiding the public amid “a changing pandemic” is complex.
“On the one hand, we are telling you, we are worried about rising cases, to wear a mask, and to avoid travel,” she said at the briefing.
“Yet on the other hand, we are saying that if you are vaccinated, evolving data suggests that traveling is likely lower risk.”
The CDC is encouraging some different rules for international travel that also represent a loosening of restrictions.
For fully vaccinated people, traveling abroad without undergoing a COVID-19 test before leaving the United States is fine, according to the CDC, but the country a traveler is going to might have other rules.
As for Americans returning from abroad, “Fully vaccinated people do not need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States unless required by a state or local jurisdiction,” the CDC said in its news release.
But some testing requirements do remain in place, the agency said.
“Fully vaccinated people must still have a negative COVID-19 test result before they board a flight to the United States and get a COVID-19 test 3 to 5 days after returning from international travel,” the release said.
Further, the CDC has a ratings scale of potential destinations and warns against travel to many parts of the world.
The agency recommends caution in travel, noting that variants of the coronavirus are causing a spike in positive tests.
Travel within the United States also requires obeying federal, state or local mask mandates, the CDC noted.
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