Americans who have already been vaccinated can put trips back on their list of activities, according to guidelines issued Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC updated its guidelines to note that people who have already received two doses of the vaccine can travel within the country without having to undergo a coronavirus test or self-quarantine upon return.
Previously, the agency had asked to avoid non-essential travel even for people already vaccinated, but said it would update its guidelines as more people were inoculated and it had more evidence about the protection that vaccines give.
“Every day we receive more information and change guidelines based on existing data,” said Dr. Ali Khan, dean of the University of Nebraska College of Public Health.
Khan said the update strengthens the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, and is another incentive for people to get vaccinated.
According to the CDC, about 100 million people in the United States, or about 30% of the population, have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of a vaccine.
The agency recommended that people who are not yet vaccinated continue to avoid nonessential travel.
The new guidelines state that:
1. People who have received both doses of the vaccine can travel within the United States without having to undergo a coronavirus test or quarantine. They will still have to wear masks, comply with social distancing measures and avoid crowds, the agency said.
2. For international travel, the agency said vaccinated people should not present a negative COVID-19 test before departure, but some destinations may require it.
3. Vaccinated people must still test negative for COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States, and retested three to five days after returning. They should not be quarantined. The agency mentioned the possible introduction of virus variants and differences in vaccine coverage around the world in its guidelines on international travel.