Americans with 2 COVID vaccine doses can travel, CDC says

Daniel Fowler
April 3, 2021

For fully vaccinated Americans, this updated CDC guidance relieves much of the stress that comes with incorporating COVID-19 restrictions into travel plans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that fully vaccinated people can resume traveling at a low risk to themselves, according to a report from the New York Times.

Travel guidelines have not change for unvaccinated people.

And, during Friday's White House briefing, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, said it would be better if vaccinated people stayed home.

But global travelers headed to the United States should have a negative Covid-19 test before they get on the plane, be tested after arrival, and must quarantine if local authorities in the United States require it, the CDC said in a statement.

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The new guidance comes as almost a third of the country's adult population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Specifically, vaccinated Americans don't need to get a COVID-19 test before traveling unless it is required by the destination country.

According to the state's travel advisory, all travelers should get tested one to three days before starting their journeys, and nonessential travelers should get tested three to five days upon arrival into California and self-quarantine for a full seven days after travel, even if their test is negative. They do not need to quarantine. The CDC defines a person as "fully-vaccinated" two weeks after they've received their last dose. The CDC discourages non-essential domestic travel by those who are unvaccinated.

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. 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.

Masks are still recommended, along with social distancing and other precautions.

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