CDC clears domestic travel for vaccinated people, but still advises mask-wearing
ATLANTA - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines Friday that green light people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel safely within the United States.
The new guidelines say vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread the virus, but the CDC still recommends safety measures like wearing a mask, social distancing and hand washing.
"Our guidance reiterates that all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, should continue to wear masks on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation while traveling," said Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC.
Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to get tested before or after travel unless such testing is required by their destination. And quarantining is not necessary after inoculation.
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 01: A sign reading, 'masks required in this area,' is seen as travelers prepare to check-in for their Delta airlines flight at the Miami International Airport on February 01, 2021 in Miami, Florida. An executive order signed
In its first round of guidelines for vaccinated people, the CDC didn't give its blessing to travelers. Even so, airports saw millions of travelers a day last month -- a surge that mimics pre-pandemic levels, Fox News reported.
So far, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved three vaccines. The mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna require two doses spaced roughly a month apart, while the Johnson & Johnson shot only requires a single injection.
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The CDC says its new guidelines only apply to travelers inoculated by FDA-approved vaccines.
Traveling is still not recommended if you're not fully vaccinated because it increases the chance of spreading the virus. But if travel is unavoidable, the CDC has the following guidelines:
- Get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip.
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth.
- Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you.
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
- Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
- If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
- Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
- Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
- Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements.
This story was reported from Atlanta.