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Do the new CDC travel guidelines let vaccinated people travel?

Fully vaccinated people should still take precautions but will no longer be discouraged from traveling.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this March 25, 2020 file photo, United Airlines planes are parked at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. With more people feeling increasingly comfortable with traveling now that vaccinations are taking place, airlines are trying to accommodate the pent up demand by adding flights worldwide. United Airlines said Thursday, March 25, 2021, that in May it’s adding 26 new nonstop routes between Midwest cities and popular vacation destinations. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

The Centers for Disease Control announced new guidelines for vaccinated travelers. This announcement comes nearly a month after the CDC made updates to guidelines for fully vaccinated people that didn’t include travel.

After a year of lockdowns and quarantines, there are plenty of people itching to travel. The CDC’s newest update is good news for those people.

THE QUESTION

Do the new CDC travel guidelines let vaccinated people travel?

SOURCES

THE ANSWER

While fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks and social distance while travelling, they can now travel without worrying about first getting a test or quarantining when they get back.

The CDC is not changing its travel guidelines for unvaccinated people.

WHAT WE FOUND

The CDC issued a press release to go over the details of its updates to its domestic travel and international travel guidelines.

In it, the CDC said fully vaccinated people can travel internationally without first getting a COVID-19 test and don’t need to self quarantine upon returning to the United States. There are exceptions to these guidelines if the country you’re traveling to or the local jurisdiction you’re returning to requires it.

However, fully vaccinated people still need a negative test for COVID-19 before returning to the United States and will need another test three to five days after returning. Fully vaccinated people are also supposed to continue taking COVID-19 precautions while travelling, whether international or domestic.

The CDC defines a “fully vaccinated” person as someone who is at least two weeks removed from their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or at least two weeks removed from their single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The changes come as a result of recent studies that suggest transmission rates for fully vaccinated people who are not immunocompromised are low or reduced compared to the average.

The guidelines for people who are not fully vaccinated remain the same. The CDC discourages non-essential travel for unvaccinated people and says unvaccinated people who do travel should get tested before traveling and should self-quarantine at home upon return.