CDC Issues Updated Guidance on Travel for Fully Vaccinated People
On April 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its travel guidance for fully vaccinated people to reflect the latest evidence and science.
On April 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its travel guidance for fully vaccinated people to reflect the latest evidence and science. Given recent studies evaluating the real-world effects of vaccination, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves.
A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last recommended dose of vaccine.
Fully vaccinated people can travel within the United States and 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.
“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,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
“We continue to encourage every American to get vaccinated as soon as it’s their turn, so we can begin to safely take steps back to our everyday lives. Vaccines can help us return to the things we love about life, so we encourage every American to get vaccinated as soon as they have the opportunity.”
Because of the potential introduction and spread of new SARS-CoV-2 variants, differences in disease burden and vaccines, and vaccine coverage around the world, CDC is providing the following guidance related to international travel:
- 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.
Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19. However, international travel poses additional risks and even fully vaccinated travelers are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new COVID-19 variants.
CDC recommends delaying international travel until you are fully vaccinated. People are considered fully vaccinated:
-2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
-2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
Before you travel
-Make sure you understand and follow all airline and destination requirements related to travel, testing, or quarantine, which may differ from U.S. requirements. If you do not follow your destination’s requirements, you may be denied entry and required to return to the United States.
-Check the current COVID-19 situation in your destination.
While you are traveling:
-Wear a mask over your nose and mouth. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
- Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (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).
The guidance issued on April 2 does not change the agency’s existing guidance for people who are not fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated travelers should still get tested 1-3 days before domestic travel and again 3-5 days after travel. They should stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel or 10 days if they don’t get tested at the conclusion of travel. CDC discourages non-essential domestic travel by those who are not fully vaccinated.
Updates to CDC travel guidance for vaccinated people can be found here:
Due to the large number of Americans who remain unvaccinated and the current state of the pandemic, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to take COVID-19 precautions, such as wearing a mask, social distancing, washing hands frequently and avoiding crowds when in public, when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple other households, and when around unvaccinated people who are at high risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19.