Fully vaccinated Americans can travel again, says new U.S. CDC guidance

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Those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer required to test before or after traveling domestically or internationally from the USA, the CDC said in updated guidance on Friday.

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.

The major US airlines including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and other trade groups had asked the CDC on March 22 to change its guidance to say "vaccinated individuals can travel safely".

And, during Friday's White House briefing, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, said it would be better if vaccinated people stayed home. Not only that, but immunized travelers who are traveling domestically don't have to get a COVID test before or after travel, unless certain localities require it, and they don't have to self-quarantine. CDC still recommends fully vaccinated people have proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to the US, and get tested 3-5 days later.

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Fully vaccinated people who are traveling internationally do not need to be tested for COVID-19 before leaving the United States unless their destination requires them to be, and they do not need to self-quarantine upon arriving in the country, federal health officials said. They do not need to quarantine. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine.

CDC also said those who are not fully vaccinated should avoid non-essential domestic travel.

Walensky acknowledged that it is confusing to hear messages both about what vaccinated can do and the CDC asking people not to do them because of the concerning increase in the number of COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated people. Fully vaccinated individuals can safely socialize indoors without masks or social distancing with other vaccinated individuals but should still avoid groups with unvaccinated people from multiple households, the CDC says.

The CDC did not revise guidance for non-vaccinated people.

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