The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a long-awaited update to the travel guide for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 on Friday, removing some testing and quarantine recommendations.
The CDC says that fully vaccinated people can travel with little risk to themselves.
The agency said that as long as coronavirus precautions are taken, including the use of masks, fully vaccinated people can travel within the United States without getting tested for COVID-19 before or quarantining themselves afterward.
For international travel, fully vaccinated individuals do not need a COVID-19 test prior to travel, unless the destination requires it, and they do not need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States. They must still have a negative covid-19 test before boarding a flight to the U.S. and a follow-up test three to five days after they return, the CDC noted.
The CDC considers someone fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of the covid-19 vaccine. The updated guide does not apply to unvaccinated people. The CDC advises anyone who is not fully vaccinated to continue to avoid travel.
Unvaccinated people who must travel should be tested one to three days before the trip and again three to five days after the trip. They should be quarantined at home for seven days after the trip, or 10 days, if they don’t get tested after the trip.
The CDC said that all Americans, regardless of vaccination status, should wear a mask and practice public health measures when traveling, such as physical distancing and frequent hand washing.
“With millions of Americans getting vaccinated every day, it is important to update the public on the latest science on what fully vaccinated people can do safely, which now includes guidance on safe travel,” said the CDC Director. , Dr. Rochelle Walensky, in a statement.
“We continue to encourage all Americans to get vaccinated as soon as it is their turn, so that we can begin to take safe steps into our daily lives. Vaccines can help us get back to the things we love in life, so we encourage all Americans to get vaccinated as soon as they get the chance. ”
Last month, the CDC released its first version of guidance for fully vaccinated Americans, in which the agency said they should avoid travel.
Some critics at the time said the CDC’s stance on travel for fully vaccinated people was too rigid.
Walensky defended the agency’s initial travel guide at the time, explaining that changes to the guide would continue as more people get vaccinated in the US and that scientific data would inform any recommendations.
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