Whilst the world has been experiencing unprecedented times, it has been hard for governments to strike the balance between public safety and public sanity. Throughout the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has endeavored to keep Americans safe by analyzing any potential risks to health and issuing guidelines as a result of these risks. The CDC recently released new, much-anticipated guidelines on Friday, and it was good news for those who have been vaccinated. Here’s what the CDC announced, and how it may affect travel in the near future.
New CDC Guidelines Published – What Travelers Should Know
Just four weeks ago, the CDC held its ground with regards to their no-travel mantra by announcing that Americans should avoid all travel – even those who had been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The announcement was made at a time when the US had administered 92 million doses of the vaccine, and came with a list of things that vaccinated travelers could do instead, such as visit other vaccinated people.
Whilst it was disappointing to travelers, the announcement came with the caveat that the guidelines would be revised following the inoculation of more of the public, and once they were at a stage in the future when had more scientific data about what happened to people following their vaccinations. That stage, it seems, is now.
On Friday, the CDC announced that Americans who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 could safely travel at home and abroad, providing that they still followed basic health precautions, such as wearing masks when appropriate. People are considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. According to the CDC, it applies to 58 million people in the US – 22% of the population.
The CDC also announced that vaccinated travelers would not need to take a Covid-19 test before traveling unless it is a requirement of the destination, nor would they need to self-quarantine upon their return home to the US. However, they must still have a negative Covid-19 test before taking a flight to the US, as well as taking a follow-up test three to five days after their return.
The CDC admitted that whilst they would prefer if people stayed at home and avoid travel, they had enough evidence as to the effectiveness of the vaccines, which showed people could travel “at low risk to themselves.” The CDC also stressed that the latest announcement applied only to those who are fully vaccinated, and called on the unvaccinated to continue to avoid travel.
What Does This Mean For Travel?
In recent weeks, the US has seen more and more people starting to travel once again, reporting the highest travel-related statistics since the pandemic began. This news is bound to increase the number of travelers further, with vaccinated travelers doubtless buoyed to hear that there is a low risk to themselves when traveling.
The news also comes as the US sees several of its states expand their vaccine eligibility and start to crank up the pace of their inoculations. With more of the populace set to be vaccinated in the next few months, it looks like the US might break its pandemic travel records once more in the near future.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories