Friday, 16 April, 2021

USA says vaccinated people can travel, with precautions

EU Ban on US Travelers Bertrand Guay AFP via Getty Images
Ginger Lawrence | 03 April, 2021, 02:07

Within the United States, vaccinated people will not have to quarantine or take a Covid-19 test after traveling, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Fully vaccinated people can start traveling again if they take precautions such as wearing a mask and observing social distancing, USA health authorities said Friday.

For global travel, the agency says vaccinated people do not need to get a COVID-19 test before leaving, though some destinations may require it. However, the CDC still recommends that fully vaccinated travelers closely monitor their symptoms and isolate accordingly if symptoms develop.

However, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that while people can travel, they still should avoid doing so.

A person is considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after they get their second round of Pfizer and Moderna shots, or two weeks after their Johnson & Johnson shot.

The CDC previously released guidance for what vaccinated people can do. However, it urged vaccinated Americans to keep wearing masks in public and to avoid crowds. It said fully vaccinated people can gather privately together without masks, or visit one un-vaccinated household - such as vaccinated grandparents visiting the home of a child and grandchildren.

Americans with 2 COVID vaccine doses can travel, CDC says
The agency's guidance, released in March , says people who have been fully vaccinated can meet indoors without masks. Add travel to the activities vaccinated Americans can enjoy again, according to new USA guidance issued Friday.

Some travel guidance remains unchanged. 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.

USA air travel has begun rebounding - 1.6 million people passed through TSA checkpoints on Thursday, well above the 124,000 who did so a year before yet still below the 2.4 million from the same day in 2019. CDC continues to recommend that not fully vaccinated travelers get a COVID-19 test 1-3 days prior to domestic or global travel, as well as 3-5 days after returning.

The CDC still discourages "non-essential domestic travel" by those who aren't fully vaccinated.

"Cases are going up again".

The message came the same week that Walensky warned of "impending doom" due to rising case numbers and hospitalizations. The virus is spreading more rapidly in many places. Only the headline has been changed.