Friday, 16 April, 2021

Fully vaccinated Americans can travel safely again, CDC says

A woman at the airport holds her passport covid-19 vaccine record card and boarding pass If You're Fully Vaccinated, a New Thumbs-Up
Adrian Cunningham | 03 April, 2021, 01:10

Add travel to the activities vaccinated Americans can enjoy again, according to new USA guidance issued Friday. "I still continue to worry that with 80% of the population unvaccinated, we still have a lot of work to do", Walensky said. "I'm not looking to be in mass crowds and I'll probably not go overseas", she said.

In addition, the agency's updated guidance says that fully vaccinated people do not need COVID-19 tests before worldwide travel unless it is required by their destination and vaccinated people returning from global destinations do not need to self-quarantine upon their return, unless required by state or/and local authorities.

The CDC also recommends that people get tested three to five days after travel.

With cases rising in some parts of the country and across the globe, the CDC "is not recommending travel at this time", said agency director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

Global travelers are still required to show a negative COVID-19 test to board a flight heading to the United States, and are recommended to get another test three to five days after returning. However, all air passengers coming into the USA must have a negative coronavirus test result from no more than three days before their travel date. They do not need to quarantine.

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The CDC continues to advise anyone who hasn't been fully vaccinated to avoid traveling, but if it is necessary for those people to travel, the CDC recommends they be tested one to three days before travel and then once more three to five days after returning home.

When that guidance was released in early March, Walensky said the agency would wait to change travel recommendations until a higher percentage of Americans were vaccinated and the agency had more evidence regarding whether vaccinated individuals could spread the virus. Transportation Safety Administration's numbers show more than 1 million passengers have passed through airport security almost every day in March.

The CDC cited recent research on the real-world effects of the vaccines for its updated guidance. It also said vaccinated people could visit with unvaccinated people from a single household under similar conditions, as long as the unvaccinated individuals were at low risk for severe illness if infected.

The U.S. began its vaccine rollout in mid-December.

Those who haven't received their second shots or haven't been immunized for two weeks should especially avoid traveling, according to the CDC. A one-shot vaccine by Johnson & Johnson was given the green light by regulators at the end of February.