People who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus can travel safely in the U.S. without getting tested or self-quarantining, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday.
However, travelers should still continue to wear masks, practice social distancing and wash their hands, whether they are fully vaccinated or not, according to the agency.
The CDC updated its travel guidance on Friday, saying: “Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19.” The agency did say that if a destination requires testing, fully vaccinated travelers would still need to adhere to the destination’s requirements.
Fully vaccinated travelers should also still continue to self-monitor for coronavirus symptoms, self-isolate if they develop such symptoms, and follow all state and local requirements, the CDC says.
People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after their Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Travelers who are only partially vaccinated, or have not reached the two-week mark after their final dose, should continue to follow the CDC’s recommendations for unvaccinated people.
Even before the CDC’s updated guidelines, Americans were already getting back to travel.
Earlier this week, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) data showed that the agency had screened more than 1 million travelers every day for 19 days in a row. That trend has continued through 22 days as of Thursday, marking the most prolonged travel rebound since the pandemic started more than a year ago.
Airlines have also seen an uptick in demand. American Airlines told AP on Monday that bookings are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels; other airlines including Southwest and Delta said their bookings started increasing in mid-February.
Last month, the CDC said fully vaccinated people could also start gathering indoors without masks with other fully vaccinated people. The agency further suggested that vaccinated individuals mingling indoors with unvaccinated individuals who are considered low-risk for severe COVID-19 infection poses a low risk.
However, the CDC advised all Americans to avoid larger indoor gatherings and wear masks in public and high-risk settings, regardless of vaccination status.
Those recommendations were supported by health experts.
“This guidance is really thoughtful,” Dr. Anne Liu, infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, wrote to Fox News last month. “It balances removing some precautions under low-risk conditions while maintaining them in high risk and public situations.”
(By Ann Schmidt and Kayla Rivas / Fox News)