Amidst the United States’ expeditious vaccine rollout, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released its commencing order of health guidelines for fully vaccinated Americans.
Although new leniency has been awarded in other areas of restrictions, the CDC stands firm on its advisory against travel, even for inoculated Americans.
The highly anticipated announcement appears as the U.S. hits a record of 5.3 million vaccines administered over the weekend, as measured by the CDC tracker. Several states are lifting restrictions as the number rises, reaching 92 million-and growing doses administered thus far.
Airline Industry Awaits
In response, industry group Airlines for America (A4A) reiterates the low risk of contracting COVID-19 on board a plane given the high-quality air filtration systems and safety measures enforced.
“U.S. airlines have implemented multiple layers of measures aimed at preventing virus transmission onboard the aircraft, including strict face covering requirements, enhanced disinfection protocols and hospital-grade ventilation systems,” a spokesperson for A4A said in a statement shared with Fox News on Monday.
Further adding, “In addition to implementing multiple layers of measures to mitigate the risk of transmission onboard, A4A member airlines proactively implemented pre-departure health-acknowledgement forms to encourage passengers to evaluate their own health prior to travel.”
This is the second instance in which the aviation industry contrasted with a pandemic-induced decision presented by the Biden Administration. Earlier this year, talks of mandating testing between inter-state travel arose in efforts to control virus transmission. A4A voiced its concern to the White House regarding the unwarned concept after which the possibility was ruled out.
A4A – which represents major North American carriers American, Delta, Southwest, United, Air Canada, Alaska, Hawaiian, and JetBlue – said they will remain in correspondence with the CDC as the situation evolves.
“Since the onset of this crisis, U.S. airlines have relied on science to help guide decisions as they continuously reevaluate and update their processes, procedures, and protocols,” said the representative, “We continue to work with the CDC and other appropriate authorities to ensure the implementation of travel policies and measures that prioritize the safety and wellbeing of all passengers and employees.”
U.S. airline carriers continue to uphold high standards of health and safety, with Delta extending its no middle seat policy, and major carriers launching international contact tracing on a voluntary basis from incoming passengers to control the spread of the virus.
New Guidelines For Fully Vaccinated Americans
For reference, people are considered ‘fully vaccinated’ two weeks after receiving two doses of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, and a single dose of the recently approved Johnson & Johnson.
According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can:
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic
CDC also mentions that for now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:
- Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
- Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
- Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
- Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- Follow guidance issued by individual employers
- Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations
Although travel remains unadvised at this time, the CDC said it will revise guidelines for vaccinated individuals once more of the population is inoculated and further scientific data is revealed on the aftermath of vaccination.
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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