Summary - CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its travel guidance for fully vaccinated people recommending that fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves. Note: A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last recommended dose of vaccine.
Domestic Travel Guidance:
- Fully vaccinated people can travel within the United States
- Fully vaccinated people do not need COVID-19 testing or post-travel self-quarantine as long as they continue to take COVID-19 precautions while traveling – wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, socially distancing, and washing hands frequently
- CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky: “With millions of Americans getting vaccinated every day, it is important to update the public on the latest science about what fully vaccinated people can do safely, now including guidance on safe travel.”
International Travel Guidance:
- Fully vaccinated people can travel internationally without getting a COVID-19 test before travel unless it is required by the international destination.
- Fully vaccinated people do not need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States, unless required by a state or local jurisdiction.
- Fully vaccinated people must still have a negative COVID-19 test result before they board a flight to the United States and get a COVID-19 test 3 to 5 days after returning from international travel.
- Fully vaccinated people should continue to take COVID-19 precautions while traveling internationally
Travel Industry Reacts
Despite this CDC guidance, we are far from the light at the end of the tunnel.
Even if the news may boost travel, concerns remain: 1) Federal health officials are still urging people not to travel at all, unless they absolutely must, a recommendation that still applies even though the CDC says people CAN travel more safely if fully vaccinated. 2) States and local governments may still choose to keep travel restrictions in place, including testing, quarantine and stay-at-home orders.
The pandemic has also shown businesses that employees can be productive working remotely and thus it may take several years before highly protifable business travel returns to previous highs. While leisure travel may be leading the US travel recovery, airlines expect it will also still take years to return to past highs. Airlines for America, an industry trade and lobbying group, said the industry lost more than $35B last year and continues to lose tens of millions of dollars daily.
The travel industry though is certainly optimistic.
Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, said: “The C.D.C.’s new travel guidance is a major step in the right direction that is supported by the science and will take the brakes off the industry that has been hardest hit by the fallout of Covid by far...As travel comes back, U.S. jobs come back.