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CDC Just Said It's Now OK to Do This Big Thing After Vaccination

You can travel, says Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

The CDC just released an update to their guidance for fully vaccinated people—they can fully resume travel "at low risk to themselves." "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 Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Remember fully vaccinated is defined as two weeks after receiving the single dose vaccine or after two weeks after receiving the second dose of the two dose vaccines." Read on to see how and when you can travel safely—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.


CDC's Guidance for Domestic Travel

woman sitting inside airplane wearing KN95 FFP2 protective mask

"We state that fully vaccinated people can resume travel to low at low risk to themselves for domestic travel. Fully vaccinated people do not need to get a COVID-19 test before or after travel and do not lead to self quarantine after travel. For example, fully vaccinated grandparents can fly to visit their healthy grandkids without getting a COVID-19 test or self quarantining provided they follow the other recommended prevention measures"—like wearing a mask—"while traveling," said Walensky.


CDC's Guidance for International Travel

Traveling woman doing the check-in at the airport wearing a face mask.

"For international travel, fully vaccinated people do not need to get a COVID-19 test before they leave the United States, unless it is required by their international destination. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested and have a negative test result before they board an international flight back into the United States.But they do not need to quarantine when they arrive here. However, fully vaccinated people who do international travel should still be tested three to five days after arrival in the United States on an international flight."


How to Travel Without Getting—or Spreading—COVID

Doctor in personal protective suit or PPE inject vaccine shot to stimulating immunity of woman patient at risk of coronavirus infection.

"Our guidance reiterates that all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, should continue to wear masks on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation," said Walensky. "While traveling, as I mentioned previously, the science on COVID-19 is constantly evolving. We will continue to monitor the evidence and provide updates. As we learn more with so many people still unvaccinated. It is important that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, continue to take prevention measures in public and adhere to our guidance on ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19—wear a mask, physically distance, avoid crowds and poorly ventilated areas and wash your hands frequently."


What if You Are Not Vaccinated? Can You Travel? Please Do Not.

Young woman getting ready for summer vacation

"We haven't changed our guidance for non-essential travel at all," said Dr. Walensky. "We are not recommending travel at this time, especially for un-vaccinated individuals. Our guidance on un-vaccinated individuals really is to limit travel to only essential travel with masking and protective prevention strategies. And so our update on this is really only for those who are vaccinated and that represents about 20% of the adult population."


CDC Chief Says Even if You Can, Please Don't Travel Unless You Have To, Vaccinated or Not

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"While we believe that fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves, CDC is not recommending travel at this time due to the rising number of cases," said Walensky. "The seven day average of new cases is now slightly above 62,000 cases per day. It continued to increase over the seven day period. Similar to cases, new hospitalizations continue to increase with the most recent seven day average at nearly 4,950 admissions per day. The seven day average of deaths is slightly below 900 deaths per day. These data continued to be clear despite the good news on the vaccination front, we simply cannot yet afford to relax the prevention strategies. We must continue the practice of mitigation strategies. We know work like wearing a mask and physical distancing in order to slow the spread of COVID-19."

"We know that right now we have a surging number of cases," she said later. "I would advocate against general travel overall."

So don't travel if you don't have to, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek